Deductions from annuity


Q. Is there any way to figure out how much would be deducted from a Postal Service annuity check due to an early-out? I live in Jamaica, N.Y. Will they still deduct federal, state, Medicare, Social Security?

A. Federal taxes will be deducted, but New York state taxes won’t. Neither will Medicare Part A or Social Security taxes. That’s because those two are only deducted from earnings, not annuities.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. I am in the process of shredding important documents before moving to Hawaii and want to ensure my father’s estate was completed correctly. I have two concerns, the first is I think FERS mishandled my father’s death claim incorrectly; the second problem is a check was sent twice rather than once to one of my siblings. I hope you are able to help me.

    My father passed away, at the age of 72, on 10/2003. He retired with 22+ years in the service and 35+ years in FERS. He had $47,000 in life insurance w/75% elected deduction (Option A, My parents were married in 1952 and divorced in 1987. Neither remarried. In their divorce decree it states my father will grant all rights to my mother as though they were still married, including his military service time; in his 6/14/1996 FERS Employee Data it states FULL SURVIVING SPOUSE’S ANNUITY of $6,360.00 annually or $530 monthly.

    Meeting all the necessary FERS requirements to have a spousal monthly or yearly annuity payment, FERS did not choose the action to provide spousal support, but rather provided a lump sum payment of $13,075.35 to his children. I do not understand why this was done. Is there anyway to correct this so that my mother would have the support she is entitled too?

    The second dilemma is a payment was given twice to my sibling leaving the other out of the payment. I realize i should have read this clearly and taken action, at this point in time i assume i just need a copy of the cancelled checks to correct this error.

    I appreciate your feedback on this matter, Polly.

    • Your question fall outside the boundaries of this forum. You’ll have to consult an attorney who can pursue the matter with OPM.

  2. It sounds to me like a court order was never prepared to ensure the Survivor Annuity was provided to the former spouse. You can’t just send in a Divorce Decree. OPM needs a Court Order Acceptable for Processing, following their guidelines. So many former spouses don’t realize this and miss out on the benefits they should receive. She may want to download Publication RI 84-1, “Court Ordered Benefits for Former Spouses.” It can be obtained from the OPM website:

    There is also a publication specifically for attorneys, RI 38-116, “Handbook for Attorneys on Court-Ordered Retirement, Health Benefits, and Life Insurance.”

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