Other things to keep up with mid-career:

Make sure that your agency clearly documents the following changes properly with the appropriate effective dates, and be sure to obtain copies of these personnel actions for your own records (just in case your agency or OPM loses or misfiles your records)…

-change in work schedule (i.e. full time, part-time, intermittent)…

-change in retirement coverage (i.e. FICA Only, CSRS, CSRS Offset, FERS)

-effective dates of transfer from agency to agency

-changes in salary

-changes in FEHB or FEGLI enrollment

-copies of any deposits/redeposits paid in full (military deposit record is maintained by the servicing agency payroll office where the deposit was paid until they forward it to OPM & civilian deposit/redeposit record is maintained by OPM)

It’s not a bad idea to provide your current agency retirement office with copies of any military deposit record that you may have paid with a prior agency/payroll office… and you can also provide your current agency with copies of any documentation you receive from OPM once you have fully paid for any civilian deposits/redeposits.

Special Note for CSRS, CSRS Offset, or FERS Transferees

If you are CSRS or CSRS Offset (or if you are a FERS Transferee with a CSRS component)… if you have any unpaid civilian deposit/redeposit service that will be used in the computation of your pension (without the need to make payment), then it’s not a bad idea to apply to make the payment mid-career (even if you don’t intend to pay it).  The reason for this is because the folks at OPM who adjudicate your retirement are NOT the same folks at OPM who compute your civilian deposit/redeposit amount due.  If you haven’t already applied to make these payments with OPM, the retirement adjudicators at OPM have to wait for the deposit/redeposit team at OPM to compute the amount you owe before they can compute the applicable reduction to your annuity… you will remain in interim retirement pay status a little bit longer depending upon the deposit/redeposit team’s workload at that time.

But if you have already applied to make the civilian deposit/redeposit years before you retire (even though you have chosen NOT to pay it), you will already be in OPM’s system by the time you retire.  The retirement adjudicator at OPM won’t have to wait very long for the deposit/redeposit team to provide them with an updated amount due (including interest) at that time if you are already in their system.  You can reduce the amount of time you are in interim retirement pay status by taking this simple step years before you retire.

Special Note for Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs)

Make sure that your agency has all of your Federal Law Enforcement service documented properly.  Your service records should clearly show that you spent at least 3+ years in a primary position before transitioning into any secondary position.  If your records don’t reflect this clearly, it could adversely affect your retirement.  If your current agency has to coordinate with a prior agency (where you began your Federal LEO career) to obtain this record, that could take time.  This is the reason why you want to verify all of this years before you separate for retirement.

Special Note for folks who have prior Congressional Service

The U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Architect of the Capitol does NOT participate in the Official Personnel Folder (OPF) system that the majority of the Executive Branch participates in.  If you have prior service in the Legislative Branch, your current agency may need to contact the appropriate Congressional Personnel Office to obtain your service history records.  Some of these records can also be obtained from OPM.  Don’t wait until you retire to pull all of this together.  Your agency should take the time to add this prior service documentation to your OPF.  But you may need to ask your agency to do this if they haven’t done so already.

Continue to Page 4 of this article where I will continue to address additional recommended actions to take in the middle of your Federal career… including tips for folks who experience divorce, and what you should begin to do once you are about 5 years away from separating from Federal service to help avoid future delays in retirement processing…