Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Getting ready to retire?


For some, the countdown has begun, and retirement is just ahead, at the end of 2007. If you are counting the days, you have probably already let your boss and human resources office know and have begun filling out the papers. 


The Office of Personnel Management advises choosing your retirement date and submitting the forms two months ahead.


OPM’s Web site is a good source for information about retirement. Another is the National Active and Retired Federal Employees association, which has a benefits office and provides answers to many pertinent questions in a monthly magazine. 

Here’s some information I found helpful:

A completed and signed retirement application is equivalent to a letter of resignation. But, according to OPM’s guidance, you should not resign first, intending to submit a retirement application later. If something should happen before the application is submitted, you would not receive any benefits. 

Another item to consider is your Thrift Savings Plan. Don’t overlook the option to keep your money in TSP, but if you want to withdraw it, check out the options in the new TSP booklet “Making the Right Move.” 

If you decide on a withdrawal, it may take up to eight weeks to process after TSP has received all withdrawal forms and separation data. An unpaid TSP loan can also delay disbursement of the TSP account balance.

Experts say you can get the maximum lump sum leave payment by retiring Dec. 31, 2007, for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) employees. For Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees, the best date to retire and get the maximum leave payment is Jan. 3, 2008.  (The 2007 leave year ends Jan. 5, 2008.)


Otherwise, if you retire on the first through the third day of the month, your CSRS annuity starts the following day. Set any other date, and the annuity will begin on the first day of the following month.  Regardless of which date you pick, the FERS annuity starts on the first day of the following month.


If you are retiring in 2008, how do you plan to spend your time? 


Posted by Judith Welles on Oct 29, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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