Best retirement date


Q. I’m a FERS employee. What would be the best date for me to retire if I turn 60 on Dec. 4, 2014? The end of December? (31st) Or wait until the end of the leave year in January 2015?

A. That’s a question only you can answer. If you retire Dec. 31, you’ll be on the annuity roll in January. You’d also earn three additional days of pay. However, you’d be retiring before the end of a pay period, so you wouldn’t get credit for any annual or sick leave you might have earned by waiting until the end of the pay period on Jan. 10.

Now, if you retired Jan. 10, you’d earn an additional two weeks of pay, another pay period’s worth of annual and sick leave and a teensy bit more service to be used in the computation of your annuity. However, you wouldn’t be on the annuity roll until February.

Whether there will be a pay raise in 2015 is an unknown. It there were, having fewer days on the old hourly rate would increase your lump-sum annual leave payment. Now it’s time for you to go to work and figure out what’s best for you, not just financially but personally.


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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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