Q. I am reading the article, “It is not too late to retire in 2009 or plan for 2010 or 2011.” I understand that federal employees should retire by the last day of the month to get their annuity starting from the first of the following month. Example: Federal system employee can retire on Dec. 31, 2009. The annuity will start from Jan. 1, 2010. However, the pay period ends on Jan. 2. The employee will lose annual leave for Friday and paid leave on Saturday and Sundays? Though those days will be paid much less under the annuity. Is that right? What is the best situation in this case?
A. For FERS employees, it’s a matter of trade-offs. If you retire by the last day in a month, you’ll be on the annuity roll in the following month, e.g., retire no later than Dec. 31 and you’ll be on the annuity roll Jan. 1. If you retire after the last day, you won’t be on the annuity roll until the month following the month in which you retired, e.g. retire on Jan. 2 and you won’t be on the annuity roll until February. Retiring employees have to balance the gains to be made by completing a pay period (particularly any sick or annual leave they would earn) with any delay in receiving their first annuity payment.