Q: I am in CSRS Offset and am eligible for an immediate voluntary retirement. I plan on continuing working until the end of 2012. There have been discussions about changing our retirement benefit to a High-5 calculation from the High-3 calculation. I want to retire before that change is implemented. If Congress passes and the president signs a retirement change like that, when would it become effective? Is it on the date the president signs the law, is the date designated in the law, or is it when OPM writes the rules implementing the law? What is the best way of tracking it and knowing in real time so I don’t wait too long before I retire?
A: Any change in law would be effective on the date set in the legislation. While it could not be before the president signs it, it could be on that date he does so, or it could be on a later one. As for tracking its progress, you’ll have to wait until a bill is introduced and then follow its progress. While newspapers and newscast are a good source of information, so are interest groups, such as the National Association for Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE). You can also track any bill by going to www.congress.gov.