Best month to retire


Q. What is the best month and day to retire? I should have 240 hours at the end of December, which could be carried over to the next year. If I retire in December, would I not only receive the 240 hours but 208 for the next year. If I retire Jan. 1 of the next year, would I receive the 240 in the hole plus the 208 I would accrue for the new year? I am trying to get 400 hours. How can I do this? I know it takes a while for the retirement benefits to arrive and I need something to tide me over.

A. You can only receive a lump-sum payment for the number of hours you have actually accrued. If you have accumulated 240 hours and retire Dec. 31, you’ll be paid for all the hours you’ve accrued, even if they exceed 240. If you retire Jan. 1, you would only be paid for a maximum of 240 hours. Assuming that you went into 2012 with an annual leave balance of 240 hours, earned 208 more hours in 2012, and retired no later than Jan. 12, 2013, you’d receive a lump-sum payment for 448 hours.


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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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