“Would you explain the difference between the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System and tell me which is the best day for me to retire?”
CSRS employees can retire up to the third day in any month and be on the annuity roll in that month. However, their first month’s annuity would be reduced by 1/30th for every day they weren’t on the annuity roll. FERS employees must retire no later than the last day of a month to be on the annuity roll in the following month. As for accumulated annual leave, both CSRS and FERS employees need to retire before the end of the leave year to be paid for all their accumulated leave, including use-or-lose leave. This 2023 leave year ends on January 13, 2024.
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Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, 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.