Q. I just received my first interim annuity check from the Office of Personnel Management for my CSRS firefighter retirement. They did not provide me with the percentage of the full payment that they sent. The check was less than 60 percent of what I believe I should be receiving. What should I do if OPM sends me a check that they claim is 100 percent of what I will receive but is much less than what I believe I should receive? How will I know if OPM properly included special firefighter provisions?
A. OPM is cautious about overpaying benefits. Therefore, they only pay a percentage. What percentage they choose depends on the nature of the case. A conservative amount is elected when they have yet to determine if an applicant is eligible for an enhanced annuity, such as those for law enforcement officers and firefighters. When your annuity is finalized, you’ll receive back pay for both the shortchanged annuity and your special retirement supplement, plus the correct amount for future monthly annuity payments. If, at that time, you feel the amount isn’t correct, you can go back to OPM and ask for a review of your case.