Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

CSRS retirement and life insurance

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Q. 1) Suppose one retires under the Civil Service Retirement System on Sunday, Oct. 31. I like to ask whether that is an especially poor date because I heard: a) in computing the high-3, only 30 days are used and thus Day 31 is not used; b) if one retires any other day except for the 31st, an extra day is added in computing high-3; c) two days of annuity is lost since salaries are not paid/prorated on weekends while annuity is paid/prorated.

Yet, Human Resources said that the above is untrue because by some complicated formula, Day 31 is considered in computation and counted. Also, annuity is also not prorated on weekends either.

Will you please clarify this mystery and let me know your opinion whether retiring on Oct. 31 is truly an unadvisable date and whether one should, instead, delay to Monday, Nov. 1?

2) I understand people cannot carry the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Part A into retirement unless he/she was enrolled in it for the immediate five years prior to retirement or if there was specials circumstance preventing him/her from being enrolled for five years. Yet, there was no open season for many years.  Thus, for that reason, people cannot enroll, and that is beyond the employees’ control.

Is that enough reason for retiring CSRS employees to be eligible to enroll into Part A into retirment?

A: Question 1:To find out how the Office of Personnel Management computes a high-3 average salary, go to http://opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C050.pdf and scroll down to Section 50A2.1-4.
Question 2: No, the fact that OPM doesn’t hold regular open seasons for enrollment in the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program is not a basis for waiving the five-year or first opportunity to enroll requirement.

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Comments

  1. Robert Benson Says:
    July 30th, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Just a reminder. A truly accurate calculator for the high-three is to be found at http://www.fedbens.us . This software does it the OPM way: it allows for all months being 30 days and all years 360 days. This actually makes a slight difference compared to using the standard calendar.