Thousands of Postal employees are considering retirement. This blog will help you prepare for the retirement process and make sure you understand how timing factors into when to retire.
1) If you are CSRS the best dates to retire are either the first 3 days of the month or the last 3 days of the month.
2) If you are FERS it is best to retire the end of the month.
3) Before you retire you must consider that you will not get your full pension check immediately. OPM is backed up and right now they are telling employees it will be 6-9 months before you receive your full pension check. You will receive approximately 60% of your pension while they are verifying your retirement documents. Once they are done with the verification process you will then get a check for the back money you are owed.
4) During the time period you are receiving a partial pension the government does not take health insurance out of your check. Once everything is verified they will send you the back check for pension payments owed and out of that same check they will take the health insurance out that was not taken from your partial pension.
5) Request your retirement package at least 60 days before you plan to retire.
6) Decide how much if any you want to keep of the Postal Life Insurance. If you haven't already read m y article on how the Postal life insurance program works please review it before making that decision.
7) Remember that for your spouse to be eligible for the Federal health plan in the event of your death you must give them a survivor benefit. It doesn't have to be the full amount but they have to receive something to be eligible for health benefits.
8) You as the employee must be on the federal health plan for 5 years before you retire to be eligible to bring the coverage with you into retirement.
9) If you are not sure what you want to do with your TSP or if you aren't sure how the TSP options work please read my article "you have options with your TSP". Don't annuitize without educating yourself.
10) If you are 59.5 or older and you are a FERS employee we encourage you to make choices with your TSP before you retire. The government allows you to rollover your TSP at 59.5 and in almost every case you will have better options outside the TSP.
I hope this helps some of you with your preparation to retire. If you have specific questions feel free to ask.