Choosing a retirement date


Q: I am a Civil Service Retirement System employee, with 35 years of service and meet the age requirement to retire. My agency is offering a buyout of $25,000 if we leave by Sept. 30. I am considering this offer as I was planning on leaving Dec. 31, but because Sept. 30 is in the middle of a pay period, should I leave at the end of the pay period which would be Sept. 25 in order to get all leave I would be entitled to and when would my first pension check be for.

A: Yes, it’s true that if you retire at the end of a pay period, you will get credit for any annual and sick leave you earned during that pay period. If you retire in the middle of a pay period, you won’t earn any annual or sick leave for the time that you spent on the rolls. On the other hand, you’ll have earned additional salary and added some days to your service credit.

Another factor to consider is your annuity start date. As a CSRS employee, if you retire after the third day of a month, your annuity will begin on the first of the following month, and your first annuity payment will be made on the first of the following month. For example, if you retire on either August 25 or 30, your annuity start date will be September 1 and your first payment will be due on Oct. 1.


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