A discontinued service retirement provides an immediate annuity for employees who are separated against their will other than a separation for cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency. The Office of Personnel Management has the final responsibility for determining whether a separation is involuntary for discontinued service annuity purposes.
Separations that are involuntary for discontinued service retirement purposes include, but are not limited to, separations for:
- Abolishment of position;
- Unacceptable performance (unless due to employee’s misconduct);
- Transfer of function outside commuting area; and
- Directed reassignment outside commuting area when no mobility agreement exists;
A resignation is qualifying for discontinued service retirement if you:
- Receive notice that you will be involuntarily separated;
- Have not received a reasonable offer of a position, and
- Resign before the scheduled separation date.
- You must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Age and length of service:
- Have 5 years of creditable civilian service.
- Separate from a position subject to CSRS coverage.
- Be covered by CSRS for at least 1 year within the 2-year period immediately preceding separation.
- Read the
Information for Prospective CSRS Retirees and select your retirement date.
- View the retirement
- A discontinued service retirement annuity begins on the day after separation, or on the day after
pay ceases and the applicant meets the age and service requirements for the annuity whichever is
- Request an estimate of your retirement annuity if you have not previously received one.
A voluntary retirement annuity is computed using the CSRS general formula.
- Complete the SF 2801,
Application for Immediate Retirement.
- If you are waiving retired military pay to receive credit for military service under CSRS, complete the Waiver of Retired Military Pay and send it to the military component 60–90 days before your planned retirement date.
If you have active military service and have not made a deposit for post-1956 military service, complete OPM (Office of Personnel Management) Form 1515, Military Service Deposit Election. If you have made a deposit, you are not required to complete this form, but you should attach the
receipt that shows your deposit has been paid in full. The receipt can be a copy of a Leave and
Earnings Statement or payroll letter showing the deposit has been paid.
If you have not made a deposit for your post-1956 active military service, you still have the opportunity to do so, but it must be paid in full to your payroll office prior to your retirement.
If you are retired from active military duty, made a deposit for your military service, and have decided that you will not combine your military and civilian service for CSRS retirement, you must apply for a refund of your military deposit by completing an SF 2802, Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions.
- If you are enrolled in the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program and meet the
5-year requirement for continuing coverage after retirement, complete the SF 2818, Continuation of Life Insurance
Coverage as an Annuitant or Compensationer. If you are not enrolled in Option A, B, or C, check the
"I do not have” block. The FEGLI Calculator helps you determine the current value and cost of your life
insurance and how it will change after you retire. The premiums shown on the SF 2818 have not been
updated by OPM. Correct premiums are available on the OPM Web site.
If you do not meet the 5-year requirement to continue your life insurance, your retirement specialist
will provide information about converting to a private policy.
- If you are enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program, your coverage will
automatically continue if you meet the 5-year requirement; no additional action is required. If you
do not meet the 5-year requirement, your retirement specialist will provide information about
electing Temporary Continuation of Coverage.
If you want to make a Benefits Open Season election
and will retire before the effective date (the first day of the first pay period in January), you
cannot make your election using the Employee Benefits Information System. You must complete
a SF 2809, Health Benefits
Election between Monday of the second full work week in November and the Monday of the second full
work week in December and send it to your retirement specialist.
- If you are enrolled in the Federal Dental and Vision Insurance Program, your coverage will
automatically continue. It may take a few annuity cycles before dental and/or vision premiums are
withheld. After the first successful deduction from your annuity, BENEFEDS will adjust your
deduction to catch up for the payments that were missed during the transition. You will receive a
letter from BENEFEDS informing you of the amount of the adjusted deduction.
- If you are currently enrolled in the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS), your
eligibility automatically terminates when you retire. You should contact a FSAFEDS benefits counselor for
information about your account.
- If you are enrolled in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program, you must contact
Long Term Care Partners to notify them that you are retiring so they can
coordinate with OPM to set up deductions from your annuity.
- If you participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), no action is required if you want to leave
your money in TSP. If you want to withdraw your money from TSP, you should wait 30 days from the
effective date of your retirement before submitting your request. You should contact a
ThriftLine service representative if you have questions about your withdrawal
- If you have a CSRS Voluntary Contribution account, complete RI 38-124, Voluntary Contributions Election
60 days before the effective date of your retirement. You should read RI 38-125, Voluntary Contributions Notice and
RI 37-22, Special Tax
Information for Employees and contact OPM to discuss your options. You may call OPM at 888-828-9451
or 202-606-0706 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, except on Federal holidays. You may also
email OPM at
- If you have a life threatening condition and are applying for an alternative form of annuity,
complete RI 38-122,
Alternative Annuity and Rollover Election and attach a doctor’s certification of your medical
condition. You should read
RI 38-123, Alternative Annuity Election Information for Employees and
RI 37-22, Special Tax
Information for Employees. You may also request an alternative form of annuity but wait until OPM
provides you with specific annuity information before you complete the RI 38-122.
- Your retirement annuity payments will be directly deposited to the same financial institution
that currently receives your salary deposits. If you want to make a change, complete a
SF 1199A, Direct Deposit
Sign-Up Form and attach it to your retirement application or make the change after you retire using
Retirement Services Online.
- Federal tax will be withheld from your retirement annuity in the amount currently withheld from
your salary. If you want to change the amount of Federal tax withheld, complete a W4-P, Withholding Certificate for
Pension or Annuity Payments and attach it to your retirement application or make the change after
you retire using Retirement Services Online. You can calculate how much Federal income tax
should be withheld from your retirement annuity by using the Federal Tax Withholding Calculator.
Part of the retirement annuity you receive is a tax-free recovery of your contributions to CSRS;
the remainder of your annuity is taxable. You can figure the tax-free portion using the
OPM calculator. Information about taxation of your annuity is explained in IRS Publication 721, Tax Guide to U.S. Civil
- State tax is not automatically withheld from your annuity. OPM has agreements with
some states to allow the withholding of state income tax, but you must specify
the dollar amount ($5 or more) you want withheld. After your retirement has been finalized, you can
Retirement Services Online to start, change, or stop the state tax withholdings. If your state
does not participate, you should contact your state tax office for information or assistance.
- You should review your
designation of beneficiary for FEGLI, CSRS, and TSP and update if necessary.
- Ensure all retirement application forms are signed and dated.
- Make a copy of all forms for your records.
- Mail the original retirement application to the Civilian Benefits Center. Since original signatures are
required, faxed or emailed forms are not accepted.
- Your activity must complete an OPM Form 1510, Certification of Agency Offer of Position and Required
Documentation certifying that you have not declined a reasonable offer of another position.