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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
NOVEMBER 2012
63
FS KNOW-HOW
John K. Naland is the director of the Ofce of Retirement at the
Department of State. A 26-year Foreign Service veteran, his overseas
assignments include Colombia, Mexico and Iraq. He has twice served
as AFSA president and published more than 80 articles and columns
in these pages.
M
any retirees spend longer in retirement than
they spent in the active-duty Foreign Ser-
vice. During this second phase of their For-
eign Service careers, retirees can no longer
call on a general services ofcer to replace a
broken appliance, but they can still turn to several Department
of State ofces for assistance with a variety of issues.
Tis article summarizes the most common of those post-
retirement issues and points to resources for additional infor-
mation. Tis guidance is applicable to Foreign Service retirees
from all fve foreign afairs agencies.
Stay Informed
Each fall, the Department of State’s Ofce of Retirement
mails to all 15,500 Foreign Service annuitants and survivors a
24-page newsletter containing information on topics including
re-employment, survivor benefts and the health benefts open
season. It includes copies of commonly needed forms and lists
contact information for nearly a dozen ofces that annuitants
may need to contact.
More detailed retirement-related information can be found
on HR/RET’s “RNet-Retirement Network” at
www.rnet.state.
gov. Resources available there include downloadable forms, a
searchable database of frequently asked questions, and a copy
of the most recent HR/RET annual newsletter (found under
“What’s New”).
If you still have questions, you can contact a Department of
State human resources specialist. As part of the department’s
shared services initiative to improve management operations,
your initial point-of-contact is the Bureau of Human Resources’
Service Center in Charleston, S.C.
Te HR Service Center can quickly answer most retirement-
related inquiries. If a question is complex, it will be forwarded
to a HR/RET retirement counselor for response. Te HR Service
Center can be reached at
HRSC@state.gov, (8
66) 300-7419 (toll-
free), and (843) 308-5539 (from outside the U.S.).
Update Your Records
If you move to a new address or change where your annuity
is electronically deposited, you will need to provide the new
information to the Department of State. Te best way to do so
is via the Annuitant Express Web site at
www.employeeexpress.
gov.
Tere you can instantaneously update your annuity account
to change your mailing address, modify your direct deposit
account and routing numbers, change federal and state tax
The Ofce of Retirement is here to assist
Foreign Service annuitants with a host of issues.
BY JOHN K . NALAND
ASSISTANCE AFTER
RETIREMENT