The following is a question submitted by a Federal Times readers about retirement and other issues facing the federal workforce. It is answered by Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and a Federal Times columnist since 1995.

Question: When or how long does it take to receive my first annuity? I’ve already filed and my retirement date is Dec. 30, 2022. Will it come in January?

Reg’s Response: No, it won’t come in January. That’s because your agency won’t send your retirement application to OPM until they’ve closed out your records in early January. With the year-end rush to retirement, that can take up to two weeks.

When OPM does get your file, it will be one among thousands of retirement applications and will be processed in the order received. During the best of times, OPM will put you in interim pay status within two weeks after receiving your application. During the year-end rush and with COVID and other illnesses impacting staffing levels, it could take even longer.

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Reg Jones is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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