Retirement date


Q. I am a CSRS employee and have been given a directed reassignment letter. I elected to do a discontinuation of service, which afforded me the opportunity to retire early with a minimal deduction. I chose a retirement date of Oct. 1 based on my letter. The closest end of a pay period would put me at the middle of the month. My retirement representative stated the middle of the month would make my first annuity check delayed until Dec. 1, but if I chose Oct. 1 or Sept. 30, I would get my first annuity check Nov. 1. If this is true, I would likely change my date to Sept. 30.

A. CSRS employees can retire up to the third day of a month and be on the annuity in that month. If you retire after the third day, you won’t be on the annuity roll until the following month. Most retiring CSRS employees try to retire at the end of a pay period that’s close to the end of a month or no later than the third day of a month. That way, they’ll not only reduce the time when they aren’t in a pay status but will get credit for any annual and sick leave they earned during that pay period. Note: If you retire during one of those three days, your first month’s annuity will be reduced by 1/30.


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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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