Q: I read that the best day to retire for CSRS at the end of the leave year in 2013 is Dec. 28, which confuses me since we’re always told to retire at the end of the month or first three days of the month. I know 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 New Year holiday?
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 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 27/30th of the full amount.