Retirement dates


Q: I am a CSRS employee who plans to retire on my 55th birthday Sept. 22 with 33 years of service. Can I retire at the close of business Sept. 21 or would it be better to retire at the end of the month on Sept. 29 at close of business with a retirement date set at Sept. 30? Does it make a  difference? Can I submit my retirement paperwork a year in advance or should I submit it later?

A: The decision is yours to make. 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. If you retire before the end of a pay period, you won’t get any credit for it. Looked at another way, if you retire Sept. 21, there will be a nine day break in income before you go on the annuity roll. If you retire Sept. 30, there won’t be a break. You’ll seamlessly walk off the payroll and onto the annuity roll. While you should plan for your retirement a year in advance and, as part of that process, go to your personnel office to review your official personnel folder (OPF) to make sure everything is in order, you don’t need to submit your retirement application until a few months before you retire.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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