The Office of Personnel Management has published the "FERS Open Season Implementation Instructions" (Benefits Administration Letter (BAL) #98-109). BALS and other documents published by OPM pertaining to this issue may be accessed via the Internet at http://www.opm.gov/asd/.
It is noted that NAF employees participating in CSRS who decide to transfer to FERS will not become eligible under P.L. 104-106 to have prior NAF service credited towards FERS.
MACOM staff may direct question to the Civilian Personnel Policy NAF Division, ATTN: Ms.Linda Rody, (703) 325-7765 or DSN 221-7765 or email
rodyl@(email address expired).
Employee questions should be directed to the local servicing Civilian personnel Advisory Centers.
Thank you for your assistance.
Our records indicate that you are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), including CSRS Offset, or you are in an appointment covered by Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) which makes you eligible to elect the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) during the 1998 FERS Open Season. The Open Season will run from July 1 through December 31, 1998.
Your decision whether to stay with CSRS or transfer to FERS is important and you need to consider it carefully. If you elect FERS, it is an irrevocable decision that cannot be changed, so you should make every effort to understand which system is better suited to your personal situation. The CSRS and FERS are both good retirement systems. They are also very different systems, and you should not automatically assume that one is better for you than the other. Both systems allow you to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), but FERS provides for matching contributions and additional savings opportunity.
If you are interested in obtaining more information or are interested in electing FERS, contact your servicing personnel office. There are many tools available to help you in making your decision. Some of these tools are the FERS Transfer Handbook, OPM's computer Transfer Model, and material on the following Web sites: http://www.opm.gov// and /http://www.cpms.osd.mil/>. Also available on the TSP web site at http://www.tsp.gov, you can estimate your projected TSP account balance.
Social Security coverage is a part of FERS. In making your decision whether to transfer to FERS, you will want to find out how much Social Security coverage you already have. To do so, you can request a Personal Earnings and Benefits Estimate Statement (PEBES) from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This statement lists your past Social Security covered earnings and provides an estimate of your future Social Security benefits. These earnings can be used in the FERS transfer model to produce a more accurate comparison of benefits. You may request a PEBES on-line through their Internet web site, http://www.ssa.gov/ or request one by completing a form that you can obtain from your servicing personnel office.
If you decide to transfer to FERS, contact your servicing personnel office to complete the SF 3109, FERS Election of Coverage, TSP-1, TSP Election Form, and SF 3102 , FERS Designation of Beneficiary (if appropriate). If you transfer to FERS, your transfer will be effective on the first day of the first pay period after you turn in your election form. (An election of FERS coverage is an irrevocable decision. Once the FERS election becomes effective, you cannot make any further changes.) You will have 30 days from the date of your transfer to FERS to enroll or change your current TSP election. However, if you turn in your TSP-1 with your SF 3109, the effective dates will be concurrent.
If you have a former spouse to whom a qualifying court order, on file at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), awards a portion of your annuity or survivor benefits based on your Federal service under CSRS, you must get your former spouse's consent to elect FERS coverage. The exception is if your former spouse remarried before age 55. For additional information or a copy of the SF-3110, "Former Spouses Consent to FERS Election," contact your servicing personnel office.
If you have questions that are not answered by the FERS Transfer Handbook, OPM's or Field Advisory Services' (FAS) web site, your servicing personnel office will be able to provide counseling. Remember, only you can make your transfer decision. We can provide information to you, but we cannot make a decision for you or tell you what we think you should do - it's your decision.