Q. I am a federal employee under CSRS with 36 years of service. I’m thinking about retiring the end of this year. Is there any advantage to retiring on Saturday, Dec. 31, which is the beginning of the pay period versus Tuesday, Jan. 3, after the New Year holiday?
A. Saturday, Dec. 31, is the end of a pay period, not the beginning. If you retired then, you’ll receive a lum-sum payment for any unused annual leave you had to your credit. If you retired after that, any unused leave that exceeded the limit (usually 240 hours) would be lost. That’s why it’s called “use of lose” leave. Also, by retiring at the end of the pay period, you would be on the annuity roll the following day, Jan. 1. Because you are a CSRS employee, you could retire up to January 3, 2012 and be on the annuity roll in January. However, while you’d gain a couple of days of extra pay by staying on, you’d lose two things by doing so: any use-or-lose leave you had to your credit and a 1/30th reduction in your first month’s annuity for each day you weren’t on the annuity roll.