TN 88 (02-02)
SI 00830.220 Office of Personnel Management (Civil Service and Federal Employee Retirement System) Payments
Social Security Act, as amended, section 1612(a)(2)(B); 20 CFR 416.1121(a)
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) makes U.S. Civil Service and Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) payments because of disability, retirement, or death.
2. Retired Health Benefits (RHB) — Annuitants Retired Before 7/1/60
OPM provides annuitants under the Retired Health Benefits (RHB) program free coverage under Part B of Medicare. At the employee's option, the Part B premium may instead be paid to another health insurance plan or paid directly to the annuitant for use in purchasing health insurance coverage privately. All annuitants covered by the RHB program retired before 7/1/60.
1. General Rule
U.S. Civil Service and FERS payments are unearned income to the entitled retiree or individual survivor.
NOTE: These payments are unearned income to the individual who is entitled to the payment, even when additional monies for other family members are included in the payment.
2. Certain Disability Benefits
Certain disability benefits paid within the first 6 months after an employee last worked are earned income. See SI 00820.005 for an explanation of benefits falling under this exception.
3. RHB Payments
RHB payments to annuitants are not income.
NOTE: An RHB payment is shown as a positive amount on the health benefits line of the OPM notice.
C. Procedure – determine income amount
1. Overpayment Question
Ask if any benefits otherwise due are being withheld to recover an overpayment. If the answer is “yes,” see SI 00830.110.
2. Use Documents Other Than a Check
Use notices or other documents in the individual's possession (other than a check) to verify the gross amount of the OPM payment.
3. Do Not Use Check Alone
Do not use a check alone to verify the amount of the OPM payment because a check is not reliable evidence of the gross amount.
4. Contact with OPM
If the individual has no acceptable documents, write or telephone OPM. Provide the individual's name and annuity claim identification number (a seven-digit number with a “CSA” or “CSF” prefix). If the claim number is not available, provide the individual's date of birth and Social Security number.
The OPM telephone number is (724) 794-2005 or, toll-free, (888) 767-6738. Send written inquiries to: Office of Personnel Management
Retirement Operations Center
P.O. Box 45
Boyers, PA 16017
OPM Interface, SI 02310.020B.