Best time to retire


Q. I am a FERS employee who has 846 hours of sick leave as of Feb. 13. I will be 69 years old in June and have 24 years (including military time) at the Veterans Affairs Department. I would like to retire next January. I am a GS5-8. Is January the best time to retire?

A. The best day to retire is the one that fits your physical, emotional and financial needs. In general, it ought to be at the end of a pay period, so you can get credit for any annual and sick leave you earned during those two weeks. Also, if you have any hours of annual leave that exceed 240, it should be before the leave year ends, so you don’t lose those excess hours. And, because you are a FERS employee, it should be no later than the last day of a month. That way, you’ll be on the annuity roll in the following month. Now it’s up to you to decide which day is best for you. The 2013 leave year ends Jan. 11, 2014.


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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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