Retirement date


Scenario 1:  I am considering retiring on Dec. 31, 2013, which is in the middle of a pay period. Can a person retire in the middle of a pay period?

Scenario 2:  What if I decide to retire at the end of the pay period (Jan. 4, 2014) instead? This way, I could collect my full sick leave, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. My concern is that I could still receive my first retirement check for the month of January and all my 2013 accrued vacation time as though I retired Dec. 31, 2012. Or will I be penalized on both accounts under this scenario?

Note: I will be 57 years old with 20 years of FERS service as of Dec. 12, 2013.

A. 1. You can retire on any day of the week you want. However, if you retire in the middle of a pay period, you won’t get credit for any annual or sick leave you would have accrued if you’d stayed to the end of the pay period.

2. Since the 2013 leave year ends Jan. 11, 2014, you can retire any time up to that date and get full credit for any unused annual leave. If you retire on or after Jan. 1, you’d get full credit for any unused sick leave in the computation of your annuity. However, there’s a downside. If you retire after Dec. 31, you won’t be on the annuity roll until February.

One other thing to keep in mind: Since you’ll be retiring under the minimum retirement age +10 provision, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per month) you are under age 62 unless you postpone the receipt of your annuity to a later date.


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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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