Three Months Before Retirement

Three Months Before Retirement


Your Retirement Planning Checklist 


 

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Choose your exact retirement date. The effective date of a voluntary retirement should be at the close of business on your last day of work. Most employees choose a Friday at the end of a pay period, and as close to the end of the month as possible. CSRS employees may retire within the first 3 days of a month and be eligible for an annuity beginning the next day. FERS employees do not have that flexibility, as FERS annuities begin on the first day of the month following the retirement date. Under CSRS or FERS, employees who retire due to disability or discontinued service are eligible for an annuity beginning the next day.

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Obtain all the necessary forms and complete them. Ask your retirement counselor for assistance if you have any questions. Failure to complete any form or item of information that may be required in your case may cause a delay in the final processing of your application for retirement. Click here for retirement application forms.

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If you have a CSRS voluntary contributions (VC) account, you should be aware that interest stops accruing when you separate for retirement. If you plan to request a refund of your account, you should ask your retirement counselor for a form RI 38-124, Voluntary Contributions Election, which you should complete and submit with your retirement application.

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If you are a military retiree who wants to waive your military retired pay, you should notify the Retired Pay Operations Center from your branch of service in writing at least 90 days, but no later than 60 days, before your planned retirement date. Include a photocopy of your waiver letter with your application for retirement.

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Clear up any indebtedness to your agency -- for example, for an outstanding travel advance or advanced leave.

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Be aware that when you retire, any agreements you had with the National Finance Center, such as tax withholdings, allotments to savings or checking accounts, savings bonds, charitable contributions, union dues, etc., are canceled. Because of technological limitations and the fact that your retirement income will probably be less than your salary, it is neither feasible nor desirable to keep all of the same withholdings you had as an employee.

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If you are covered by Federal Long Term Care Insurance and have premiums deducted from your salary, call Long Term Care Partners now, at 1-800-LTC-FEDS (1-800-582-3337), to advise them of your retirement date and to make alternative arrangements for paying your premiums, such as direct billing or deduction from your bank account. The Long Term Care premium deductions do not transfer to the retirement system, and are not deducted from interim annuity payments; therefore, you must pay your Long Term Care premiums promptly to avoid loss of coverage.


(For employees of USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs and the Merit Systems Protection Board)

 



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