Retirement and leave


Q.  I am anticipating retiring the end of February.  I understand that, as a FERS employee, the end of the month is the best time to retire.  However, I have a trip planned beginning Feb. 24.  Which would be the better option and is it possible?
1.  Retire on Feb. 29 and take annual leave for the four workdays I will be gone.
2.  Retire at the end of the pay period,  Feb. 25,  take Feb. 24 as annual leave whereas I will be selling back three of the leave days I would have used in option 1.
Either way, my first annuity check should arrive on April 1, correct?
I assume that I can combine annual leave with retirement. I will be 67 years old with a bit over 25 years under FERS and plan on having more than 200 hours annual leave to sell back.

A. What I can tell you is this. First, if you retire no later than the end of a month, you will be on the annuity roll in the following month. Second, you’ll have to get your supervisor’s approval to take annual leave, regrdless of your reason for doing so. Third, you can’t “combine” annual leave with retirement. What you can do, as you appear to understand, is retire and receive a lump-sum payment for any unused annual leave.


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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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