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OPM urging use of electronic 1099-R

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NARFE NEWS

By MARJ FAIR
Kentucky NARFE Federation

I recently received my annual “Notice of Annuity Adjustment” from the Office of Personnel Management and read that, starting in 2014, OPM no longer will mail 1099-R tax forms. The only way we can get access to this statement will be through the use of a computer. I can’t believe that OPM is doing this. It’s fine for those of us with computers, but there have to be thousands upon thousands who do not have access to a computer nor the knowledge to do this, even if they do. Please do what you can to reverse this decision.
We have had several contacts from NARFE members and officers about the message that OPM included in this year’s annual annuity adjustment notice, indicating that, in 2014, only electronic 1099-Rs would be available. We asked OPM to clarify the message because there was no mention in the notice of a mailing option for these forms. OPM officials told us that, while the agency is urging all retirees to use either “Services Online” or have their 1099-Rs sent to them via email, there would be future OPM messages this year that will provide a procedure for annuitants and survivors to stop receiving a paper 1099-R and “opt in” to receive 1099-Rs electronically. We are interpreting this to mean that annuitants can still receive their 1099-Rs in 2014 by mail if they do not elect to receive them electronically. OPM officials said the agency “will continue to work with all annuitants to ensure they get the information they desire in the format they find useful, to the maximum extent possible.” We will, of course, monitor this issue throughout the year and report to members what we learn.
I went to work for the Army Corps of Engineers after Hurricane Katrina on a temporary basis in a program for retired federal employees. Is the corps looking for retired feds in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy?
The Army Corps of Engineers has an ongoing program for retired civil service employees who are able to deploy to support disaster recovery, as well as other Corps of Engineers missions. The Reemployed Annuitant Cadre program was created in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and has been expanded to provide temporary employees to supplement other corps missions. It currently has about 1,500 annuitants enrolled. Participants in the program were deployed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and also were called into service after tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and communities in Alabama. The program seeks retirees with safety, engineering, budget and accounting experience. Annuitants must be on the rolls of the program to be eligible for possible deployment. To find out more about the program, contact the Army Corps of Engineers Reemployed Annuitant Office at (202) 761-8548.
Excerpted and reprinted with permission from NARFE Magazine, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Questions & Answers were compiled by NARFE’s Federal Benefits Service Department staff. NARFE does not provide legal, financial planning or tax advice or assistance.
For more information, go to www.narfe.org. Locally, call Kay Bennett, (270) 769-3137.