"The Dirty Dozen": Twelve documents you need to pull together as you near your retirement from the federal government:

1. A certified copy of your birth certificate.

2. If you were ever in the military, a copy of your DD-214, which is your discharge papers. You can request a copy through the eBenefits portal or by sending an official request form to:

National Personnel Records Center
Military and Civilian Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, Missouri 63138

3. All of your SF-50s, which are captured in your electronic personnel file.

4. A recent copy of your Social Security statement.

5. Your marriage certificate.

6. A copy of your divorce decree, including COAP, which stand for a Court Order Acceptable for Processing.

7. The most commonly forgotten documents are a receipt for a redeposit for temporary service or for military time, so keep those in mind.

The four beneficiary forms on file since you were hired:

8. SF-11529. SF-282310. SF-310211. TSP-312.

with important contact numbers at the Office of Personnel Management and others you might need.