Q: I recently requested the retirement package be sent to me and have a phone session scheduled for next week with a projected retirement date of June 3 (I am U.S. Postal Service letter carrier with 32 years of service). I am concerned that an incentive may be offered to get voluntary retirement due to budget problems. How would this affect someone who is in the process of retiring? Should I wait to send in the application until much closer to my retirement date to see if an incentive is offered? Or would I not be eligible for the incentive if I already have started the process in motion by requesting the package?
A: The purpose of a separation incentive is to encourage employees to retire who might otherwise not be willing to do so. If you had already put in your retirement papers, your agency wouldn’t need to offer you an incentive to retire. In theory, if you withdrew your application to retire and reapplied while the incentive was being offered, you might be eligible to receive one. However, you’d be wise to check to make sure that you would qualify.