Your last Day
How can you ensure that your exit doesn’t cause you or your agency problems? There are many loose ends to sew up the last few days of employment that if not done properly can delay payment of your first check or cause other problems.
I still hadn’t received my retirement Personnel Action (SF-50) on my last day of work. Typically, you receive your retirement SF-50 several weeks after you submit your retirement paperwork along with OPM contact information that you will need to follow-up on the status of your annuity and benefits.
The SF-50 lists your retirement date, salary, current benefits, and in the remarks column it states whether or not you elected to continue health benefits coverage. For those who purchased their military time back, that payment is annotated on this form as well and will serve as documentation of payback if problems should arise down the road. I suggest keeping your retirement action SF-50 with copies of your retirement paperwork after you leave.
I contacted our division office and they went down to HR to walk it through. I received a fax copy by mid afternoon. This is just one of many reasons why you need to send in your retirement paperwork at least 3 months in advance. The more notice you give HR the more likely your retirement application will get the service and attention needed. I submitted my paperwork more than three months in advance and somehow this just slipped through the crack.
Typically, on your last day you must process out and turn in your federal ID card, computer, office keys, credit cards, cell phones and any other government property assigned to you. Obtain a statement or signed property release forms from your supervisor listing the property you turned in and keep a copy with your other paperwork. If you do not turn in assigned property and your ID your annuity checks will be held until you do so.
If you are the only person in your organization performing a function that needs to be continued after you leave, discuss this situation with your manager. They should assign someone to be trained by you so that function can continue. By the time your last day comes around, with proper planning, it should go rather smoothly until you start to walk out the door. At that point you wonder, hopefully to yourself: Did I make the right decision! Everyone thinks that no matter how badly they want to leave, so don’t be surprised. It is an emotional minute in your life and life continues on as it always does, with or without us.
Some may think it strange that we post and feature jobs on our retirement planning site’s Job Center . I would not have retired in 2005 had I not had my company, that I started part time in 1985, to fall back on. I was age 55 with 35+ years service, including 3 years military. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy working in the Air Traffic environment; it was more of a choice to change direction and try something new, yet not that new in my case. Part time employment can smooth the transition from full time work to eventual full retirement and pursuit of whatever pleasures you desire. It can also be a breath of fresh air after working so long within the same organization and under government’s bureaucratic restraints. There are many opportunities for those who seek them out for whatever reason; social interaction, extra income, or simply to keep active or pursue a profitable hobby.
We received many new job postings  recently and most are from federal agencies or related organizations seeking to hire federal retiree’s for their vast knowledge base. There are many opportunities for rehired annuitants . Many private sector companies also realize the tremendous opportunity to tap into a federal retiree’s 30+ years of specialized experience. The United States Graduate School is looking for 6 instructors  to teach scheduled classes at their facilities around the country and in Washington. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is advertising for a Contract Specialist  and the Idaho State Government needs to hire Lands Resource Specialist . Jobs are also listed by FEMA and others needing assistance on a part time to permanent basis. Add to the mix many more jobs from contractors and private companies nationwide in a broad spectrum of occupations; from sales reps to engineers and highly trained specialists.
Money magazine’s February issue featured eight great part-time jobs for retirees. We added links to literally thousands of job vacancies across the county for the recommended occupations. You can narrow the search to your area and search for the occupation you are most interested in as well:
- Limo Drivers 
- Tax Preparers 
- Tutors 
- Nursery Workers 
- Librarian Assistants 
- Handyman 
- Medical Assistants 
- TSP – I mentioned in my last article  that I transferred 100% of my TSP account  back into the G Fund on January 31, 2011. Since then the markets have remained erratic and lacking any real momentum in either direction. I was asked why I would do this and potentially give up gains with the common stock funds. The short answer is that anyone in or close to retirement can’t have all of their eggs in one basket. With the world in turmoil including the most recent massive earthquake in Japan, gas projected to be $5 a gallon this summer, the unrest in Libby and the middle east, inflation on the horizon, and the national debt exceeding 13 TRILLION dollars, it makes sense to be conservative until things settle down. The THRIFT fund can act as ballast for your overall investment accounts and when I feel times are getting tough I head for the safety of the G-Fund. In my other accounts, during times like these, I focus on more conservative high yielding dividend paying stocks including utilities and large cap stocks such as AT&T. Many federal employees’ TSP accounts have the potential to grow substantially over time; however you must understand the markets, especially close to retirement, to safeguard your nest egg. For anyone interested in understanding investing and their TSP account, I suggest joining Better Investing . Their Better Investing magazine and new investor training courses are worth their weight in gold. I joined in my early 30s and their focus is on individual investors and investment clubs.
- Reporting a missing annuity payment – We have had several site visitors ask us how to report a missing payment this month. You can call the OPM hot line at 1-888-767-6738 however; it is very difficult to get through. The best way to report the missing payment is through OPM’s online Missing Payment Report . Just enter you claim number and personal information and click on submit.
Learn more about your benefits , employment , travel , and financial planning issues  on our site and visit our Blog frequently at https://fedretire.net  to read all forum articles.
Request a Retirement Benefits Summary Analysis  and receive a personal retirement analysis. A sample analysis  is available for your review. This service is provided by independent agents that are not affiliated with www.federalretirement.net  or Bookhaven Press LLC.
Visit our other informative sites
- http://federaljobs.net  (Federal Career & Job Center)
- http://federalretirement.net  (FREE Retirement Planning Guide)
- http://federalretirement.net/jobs.htm  (Retiree Job Opportunities)
- https://fedretire.net  (Retiree BLOG)
- http://fedcareer.info  (Career Development Center)
- http://postalwork.net  (Postal Career Center)
- http://searchfedjobs.com  (Job Search – All Sectors)
- http://ehsjobs.org  (Environmental Health & Safety Job Center)
- http://stolenplates.com  (What to do if this happens to you)
- Educational Opportunities  (Find educational opportunities in your area)
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 articles are not intended nor should they be considered investment advice. Our reply is time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change.
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