Learn some of the basics about retirement and pension benefits.

Planning Your Retirement

Planning ahead can help ensure that you have a secure, comfortable retirement. The Social Security Administration’s retirement planner includes:

  • Detailed information about your Social Security retirement benefits under current law
  • Calculators to determine your retirement needs and what benefits you will have available
  • Guidance on when and how to apply for benefits.

You might also find these publications helpful:

Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning  
Top 10 Ways to Plan for Retirement 

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About Pension Benefits

If you work for, or retired from, a job with a traditional pension plan, the benefits you've earned will be paid to you even if the company runs into financial problems.  

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a government agency that:

Is Your Pension Insured?

How Your Guaranteed Pension Works

Find an Unclaimed Pension

More than 38 million people in the U.S. haven’t claimed pension benefits they have earned. Find out if you, or someone you know, is owed a pension.

Pension Counseling Program for Seniors

The Administration on Aging (AoA) offers Pension Counseling and Information that assists older Americans in accessing information about their retirement benefits and helps them to negotiate with former employers or pension plans for due compensation.

Pension Taxes

The IRS offers information to help you determine whether or not your pension or annuity income is taxable.

The IRS has information to help small businesses determine which tax-favored pension plan best suits their needs and how to keep their plans in compliance. 

Questions or Complaints

If you have questions or complaints about your employer-sponsored pension plan, contact your human resources office or locate the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Regional Office near you.

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Civil Service Retirement

If you are a federal employee planning to retire or a federal retiree looking for information about your benefits, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)'s Retirement page can help you:

If you are the survivor of a deceased federal employee or federal retiree, you may be eligible for death and survivor benefits. Visit the OPM website to report the death and apply for death benefits

Combine Military Service and Civil Service Retirement

Military service does not automatically count toward civil service retirement.

Contact OPM's Retirement Operations Center

Learn how to contact OPM's Retirement Operations Center.

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Public Service and Volunteerism

Many federal organizations offer volunteer opportunities:

  • - Sign up for volunteer opportunites and create projects. Toolkits are available to help develop your ideas into projects.
  • - Start a volunteer project, send a message of thanks or give service hours to support our service members and their families.
  • - Find volunteer programs where you serve abroad and make a difference by working directly within communities to build capacity in education, health, environment and more.
  • - Get training in first aid and emergency skills and volunteer to support local emergency responders and disaster relief.
  • - Offers grants for service and volunteering; programs include the AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Social Innovation Fund.
  • - Volunteer opportunities in America's natural and cultural resources, including national parks.
  • - Volunteer at a Veterans Affairs (VA) facility in your area.
  • Federal Election Volunteers – Become a Poll Worker - Assist election officials in your state.
  • Natural Resources Conservation Earth Team Volunteers - Work with private landowners to improve soil quality, conserve water, improve air quality and enhance wildlife habitat.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Volunteers take part in research, observation and educational roles that benefit science and the planet.

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Do you need help?

Ask us any question about the U.S. government for free. We'll get you the answer, or we'll tell you where to find it.

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