Best retirement date


Q. I’m planning on retiring at the end of June.  With 3,100 hours of sick leave, I’ll have 38 years of CSRS service.  I’ve selected June 30 as my last day for the following reasons:

1) My annuity will begin the very next day, 2) Even though June 30 is a Thursday, I will have completed my 80 hours of work to earn my final leave accrual, and 3) since retiree COLAs are based on whole months, I will get the retiree COLA for month of July (assuming there is one).

Is there anything wrong with my reasoning?

A. With one possible exception, your reasoning is sound. Even if there was a cost-of-living adjustment in 2011, it would not be included in your annuity until January 2012. And it would be 5/12 of the amount. That’s because COLAs are effective on Dec. 1 of the year in which you become eligible and are reflected in the January annuity payment.



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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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