3 questions on CSRS retirement


Q. Three questions regarding CSRS retirement:

1.  I read that in 2010 and 2011, there was a six- to 12-month delay before retiring employees actually receive their full pension. I’m not sure if a partial pension was received in the meantime and how much. Is this still true for employees retiring in 2012? I am under CSRS and planning on retiring the end of July or early August. I understand it’s best for me to retire at the end of a month or within the first three days of a month to receive my pension check the following month. I will need my monthly pension to cover my mortgage and delays will not pay the rent.

2. How long after I retire does it take to receive payment for my annual leave? I have heard and read different time frames.

3. Since I accumulated my full Social Security quarters through private industry (CSRS does not deduct for Social Security), will I be affected by any windfalls? I am under the original CSRS retirement program, not CSRS offset.

A. 1. While the Office of Personnel Management is improving the processing of retirement applications and increasing the amount provided in interim payments, the delays in finalizing a case are still substantial. As a CSRS employee, if you want to be on the annuity roll as quickly as possible, you should retire no later than the third day of a month. That way, you’ll be on the annuity roll in that month.

2. Lump-sum annual leave payments are made by your agency. You’ll have to check with your payroll office to learn what their processing time is.

3. Because you’ll be receiving an annuity from a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes, you’ll be subject to the windfall elimination provision. The WEP will reduce, but not eliminate, that benefit if you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security.


About Author

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

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