Posted on Saturday, 18th August 2012 by

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Did you know that you can retire on any day you choose?  There are many articles online to help you select the best day to retire but when selecting that perfect date, don’t forget that retirements are always effective at the end of a scheduled day. For example, Janet’s normal work schedule is Monday-Friday from 8:00 to 5:00. She decides to retire on Friday, August 31st. Her retirement is effective on Friday, August 31st at 5:00PM.

In addition, most agencies require the employee to be in a duty status on their final scheduled work day. The employee cannot be in a leave status for the entire day on their last day. In the example above, Janet could not take a full day of annual leave on Friday, August 31st and still retire on that Friday because she must be in a duty status on her final day if it is her normal work day.

What happens when an employee retires on a non-scheduled work day, such as Saturday September 1st or September 3rd, which is a Federal holiday?  Since the employee is not on leave, the employee’s retirement is effective at the end of the day on Saturday or at the end of the day on the holiday.  He or she would be paid for the holiday.

There is one notable exception: An employee retiring on a disability retirement may be in a leave status on the last day because he or is unable to work.  This exception cannot be used for anyone eligible for a voluntary retirement. It only applies to disability retirement applications. Linda Sherman, our Benefits and HR Forum Host, provided this update.

References: Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Public Law 78-525 and Comptroller General Decisions (B-164371, B-190374, B-223876)

Retirement Processing Delays Improving

OPM processes over 100,000 new claims each year and reported recently that their retirement processing backlog is shrinking. Their claims backlog has dropped 27 percent to 44,679 . Today OPM is averaging 156 days to process a retirement claim. Five months is still unacceptable, it took only three months to process my claim when I retired in 2005.  OPM’s goal is to clear this backlog over the next 18 months and reduce the processing time to 2 months for the majority of new retirees.

To prevent this from happening to you read my Retirement Precautions article. This article lists key areas that you need to pay attention to before submitting your retirement application.

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The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and financial information is subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact your benefits coordinator and ask them to review your official personnel file and circumstances concerning this issue. Retirees can contact the OPM retirement center. Our article is not intended nor should it be considered investment advice. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change.

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