First retirement check


Q. I am a fully vested CSRS employee with the Environmental Protection Agency for 33 years at age 55. I have received my numbers, but I missed my first date to retire. I still need to know how long it takes to receive my first full check. Should I take all of my Thrift Savings Plan out at once or leave about 10,000 in and roll it over to a Roth IRA or leave it in TSP? Is there a counselor at TSP to speak with about taxes and IRAs?

A. I can’t predict how long it will take for you to get your first payment. It depends on how long it takes your agency to get your retirement package to the Office of Personnel Management, and then how long it takes OPM to put you in interim pay. In recent months, OPM was getting retirees into interim pay in 10 days, on average. How sequestration will affect that is unknown.


About Author

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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