Retirement date


Q. I am considering retiring Dec. 31. I turned 62 on April 7, and as of Aug. 28, I will have 42 years and four months of total service.

Scenario 1: What if I decide wait until Jan. 2, 2013, to retire instead? Would I get full credit for any unused annual or sick leave I would have accrued if I stayed to the new year?

Scenario 2: Will the excess retirement dollars from September 2012 to Dec. 31 (date of retirement) equate to any percentage of annuity or lump-sum payment after I retire?

A. You’ll have to check with your payroll office to see when the last pay period in calendar year 2012 ends. If yours is like most agencies, that will be Dec. 29. Going past that date wouldn’t make any sense for two reasons. First, you wouldn’t earn any additional annual or sick leave if you retired in the middle of a pay period. Second, if you retired later than the end of December, your first annuity payment would be reduced 1/30 for each day, up to Jan. 3, that you were still on the payroll. If you retired after Jan. 3, you wouldn’t be on the annuity roll until February and any unused annual leave you had that exceeded the carryover limit would be lost.

When you retire, any contributions that you made to the retirement fund beyond 41 years and 11 months of service will be refunded to you with the option of buying additional annuity, which, like sick leave, isn’t subject to the 80 percent limit. At age 55, every $100 of refunded money will buy $7 a year of additional annuity. The dollar amount increases by 20 cents for every year you are over 55 when 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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