Retirement date


Q. I have 174 hours of sick leave. I’m 62 under FERS. Should I retire Dec. 29, where I’d only get half of my unused sick time to add to my annuity but get the 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment in January? Or should I retire Jan. 3, 2014?

A. While I don’t do arithmetic problems, I can give you some facts that may help you to make a decision.

First, you wouldn’t be entitled to a COLA in January. If you were to retire Dec. 29, you’d receive 11/12ths of the COLA in January 2015. If you were to retire Jan. 3, you’d receive 10/12th of the 2015 adjustment.

Second, as a FERS employee, if you were to retire after Dec. 31, you wouldn’t be on the annuity roll until February 2014. In other words, you would lose an entire month’s worth of annuity. Thus, the month of annuity you’d gain through your unused sick leave would be offset by the fact that you weren’t on the annuity roll in January.


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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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