OPM to Increase New Retirees Temporary Annuity Payments

Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry pledged Wednesday to increase new retirees’ interim annuity payments — even if it means some will temporarily be overpaid.

Currently, more than 38,000 recent retirees are receiving interim annuities — which are sometimes as low as half of what they are owed — for months while overwhelmed OPM employees calculate the correct amount.

Even when OPM has all necessary information on hand the day someone retires, that retiree usually gets about 90 percent of what he is owed. If the retiree’s employing agency sends incomplete information to OPM, or if there are other conditions that complicate the annuity calculation — such as if the retiree also receives a military pension, has excessive leave without pay or missing service, or worked part time for a portion of his career — that could lower the amount of the interim annuity while OPM straightens the file out.

Berry and Zielinski want OPM to not be as stingy when it calculates interim annuities, even if it means OPM overpays a few retirees. Berry said anyone who is overpaid will have to repay the balance to OPM.

The maximized interim payments will be a stopgap solution to lessen the burden on retirees while OPM figures out a more permanent way to eliminate the backlog. OPM plans to hire 40 new employees next year to help calculate annuities.

full story: Federal Times