Retirement date calculation


Q: I will be 55 in January and eligible to retire under the Civil Service Retirement System with 36 years of service. What would be the best day to retire if I stay until March or April at the latest? I’ve always heard about the third of the month. How will the date affect my annuity?

A: As a CSRS employee, you can retire up to the third of any month and be on the annuity roll in that month. Each day you delay retiring after the last day of the preceding month will reduce that month’s annuity payment by 1/30th. So, for example, if you retired on the third, your annuity for that month would be 27/30th of the full amount. One factor to consider when picking your retirement date is when a pay period ends. If you retire at the end of a pay period, you will get credit for any annual and sick leave you earned in that pay period.

— Reg Jones


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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