Q: I read that the best day to retire under the Civil Service Retirement System at the end of leave year 2013 is Dec. 28, which confuses me because we’re always told to retire the end of the month or within the first three days of the month. I know the Dec. 28 is the end of a pay period, but wouldn’t it work out just as well if I retired on Jan. 2 or 3 since I’d get paid for the holiday of Jan. 1?
A: You can retire on any day that suits you. However, keep these facts in mind: First, if you retire at the end of a pay period, you will get credit for any annual and sick leave leave you earned during that pay period. That won’t happen if you retire before the end of a pay period. Second, because of a wrinkle in the law that only applies to CSRS employees, you can retire up to the third day in a month and be on the annuity roll in that month. However, if you retire after the last day of the preceding month, your first month’s annuity would be reduced by 1/30th for each of those three days. For example, if you retired on the third of the month, your first month’s annuity would be 27/30ths of the full amount.