Dec. 31 or Jan. 11?


Q. I’m planning on retiring at the end of the year. I’m not sure if I should retire Dec. 31, a Tuesday, which would be the first week of pay period #2, or wait until Jan. 11, the end of pay period #2. I will have 42 years, four months and five days of service as of Dec. 31.

A. The difference is simple. If you retired Dec. 31, you’d receive one extra day of pay and be on the annuity roll in January. If you retired Jan. 11, 2014, you’d earn an additional two weeks pay, plus any annual and sick leave you earned during that pay period. However, you wouldn’t be on the annuity roll until February.


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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


  1. Also, if you sell back a lot of leave, that lump sum payment would either be added to a tax year with full employment income (DEC 31) or a smaller tax year with only retirement income (JAN 11).

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