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AARP Answers: Federal Retirement and the Coronavirus

What government employees need to know about their benefits

Thrift savings plan TSP written on a piggy bank on a desk with book, cash and calculator

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I'm a retired federal employee. Will I continue to get my monthly benefits?

Yes. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the pandemic has not affected the agency's ability to provide on-time payments to federal retirees.

Will my health insurance benefits continue?

Yes. All the services under your health insurance plans will continue uninterrupted. And your government health insurance will cover the cost of a COVID-19 vaccine, testing and other coronavirus-related costs.

I was about to retire when the coronavirus hit. Can I still file my paperwork, and will my retirement papers be processed?

Yes. COVID-19 has not affected OPM's ability to process retirement applications. Officials suggest that if you want to file for retirement, you check with human resources staff at your agency to see what procedures they have in place for processing new retirement requests.

Will I still be able to access my Thrift Savings Plan?

Yes. The Thrift Savings Plan is the federal government's 401(k) savings plan. Plan officials say on its website that the TSP will continue to process forms and requests and that TSA representatives are available to answer your questions on its toll-free ThriftLine (TSP-YOU-FRST or 877-968-3778).

TSP officials suggest that you call during off-peak hours (afternoons Tuesday through Friday) to avoid a long wait.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect new COVID-19 information.