When you get within one year of eligibility for retirement it would be prudent to:
- Confirm when you will be eligible to get a retirement benefit;
- Speak with a qualified financial professional
- Decide when you want to retire;
- Get information about other benefits to which you may also be eligible for, such as your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) any other entitlements based on employment, for example: Social Security, pensions from private industry, and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). You should have a fairly comprehensive picture of all sources of your retirement income and when each is payable;
- Tell your manager about your proposed retirement date. It would be professional protocol to give sufficient notice to allow for planning for someone to take your place.
- Attend a pre-retirement counseling seminar;
- Make an appointment with your human capital officer to review your Official Personnel Folder (OPF) to make certain all your records are complete and accurate, all service is verified, and your insurance coverage is documented;
- Make sure that the beginning and ending dates for each period of employment is properly documented for benefit computation;
- Ensure the effective dates for each promotion or within-grade increase is also properly documented during the period that will be used to compute the high-3 average salary;
- Make certain the dates of pay changes or earnings and the pay rate during employment periods when retirement deductions were not withheld from your salary are properly documented;
- Capture the tour-of-duty during any part-time employment. Also document any hours worked beyond the official tour of duty as actual hours worked.
- Document and keep a record of periods worked intermittently or “when-actually-employed”;
- Document all military service time; and
- Whenever there is a conflict about time or missing documentation, always contact your human capital officer immediately.
P. S. Always Remember to Share What You Know.