Q. I asked this question before but maybe in a way that wasn’t clear. In a Federal Times article, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association president said that due to sequestration’s impact on the Office of Personnel Management and its backlog, we might not get paid our first check on time. Really? I thought if I turned in my retirement application three months in advance, I would at least be given an estimated annuity albeit reduced. What’s the real scoop? I’m CSRS, no military, continuous fed since 1978, Federal Employees Health Benefits covered for five years before retirement, no life insurance, no workers’ compensation. Should be a relatively easy one to process.
A. Turning in your paperwork three months in advance of retirement is a good idea. It allows your agency to review the paperwork and work with you to resolve any questions that arise. However, that package won’t go to OPM until after you have separated from your agency. That’s when both the personnel and finance offices will sign off and send it to OPM. Only then will OPM get a crack at it. While OPM has been trying to put retirees in interim pay within 10 days of receiving a retirement package, sequestration could lengthen the time between receipt of a package and the first interim payment.