Retirement or RIF?


Q. I am an employee with the Postal Service. I have 35 years of service and am 56 years old. My position as an AMS Tech EAS-15 was recently abolished. I was offered an early-out but without any incentive money.

I did not take it since I can voluntarily retire and no money was offered.

The EAS-15 positions are being replaced with 56 newly created EAS-17 positions and 318 PS-7 APWU clerk positions. I expect there may be a class action about it.

1. Considering that I am already eligible to retire, I’m trying to determine whether it would benefit me to let them RIF me (effective March 8) in case of any future Department of Labor action in my favor.

2. Can I apply for retirement with an effective date of April 1 (after the RIF effective date), since I’ve always been told that you should retire on the 1st, 2ndor 3rd day of the month.

3. Will the Office of Personnel Management reject my retirement request if its effective date occurs after the reduction in force’s effective date?

4. If I get RIFed, am I entitled to unemployment benefits?

A. It would be foolish of me to offer an opinion about whether it would be beneficial to you to be separated by a reduction in force rather than retire. So I won’t. You’ll have to figure that out on your own.

You can set any date for retirement that you want. However, if the effective date of the RIF is before that, you won’t be allowed to stay onboard until you reach that date.

You must have misunderstood what you heard about the preferred dates to retire being the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of the month. The best date to retire is usually at the end of a pay period that is closest to the end of a month.

While, as a CSRS employee, you can retire up to the 3rd day of any month and be on the annuity roll in that month, your first month’s annuity would be reduced by 1/30 for every one of those days you are still on the rolls.

You would only be eligible for unemployment benefits if you were both RIFed and didn’t retire. As a rule, retirees aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits.


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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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