Chartered 1889, Serving the Bronx and Manhattan

Jose Ramos

Director of Retired Members

Email available here

Joe was elected Director of Retires in 2006. A position he has held for 16 years and was recently re-elected in 2022. Joe began his postal and Union career in 1965. Joe saw many changes within the Postal Service and Union at the beginning of his career. With just 5 years on the job, the carriers went on strike and Joe was right there with them. After the strike joe continued his postal career as a changed man. He volunteered for many things that would benefit the carriers of Branch 36 and was elected Shop Steward by his fellow carriers. In 2000, Joe was selected by then President Orapello to work at the Letter Carrier’s Credit Union. Joe held that position full time until 2012 when he switched to a part time position. In 2006, President Charlie Heege selected Joe to become the Director of Retirees. Thanks to all the members who voted in the 2022 election, Joe was re-elected to the position of the Director of Retirees where he continues to assist Branch 36 carriers in life after the Post Office.

Best Time to Retire?

One question that I am often asked is, “When is the best time for a federal employee to retire?” There are some important factors to consider when choosing your retirement date. Let’s start with the basics.
For a Civil Service Retirement System CSRS/CSRS offset employee, the best time would be either the last day of the month or on the first three days of the following month. For a Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) employee, the decision is easier, it would be the last day of the month. The reason is that the Office of Personnel Manager CSRS/FERS handbook states that a federal employee’s pension begins accruing on the first day of the month following retirement. For CSRS, the rules state that if the employee retirees in the first three days of the next month the pension will begin accruing at that time. Yes, this can be on a weekend or a holiday because it is based on calendar days, not business days.
Here is an example of what typically happens over the initial weeks when a federal employee retires. Two weeks after retirement, the last paycheck arrives and approximately two weeks after that, the annual leave lump sum check arrives. Finally, about two weeks later the first interim pension check arrives. So basically, the federal employees have payments arriving that feel very similar to their paycheck schedule for the first six weeks of their retirement, which of course is ideal.
Now, let’s consider the FED who retires on the 5th of the month. Instead of the pension beginning to accrue the day after retirement, it actually doesn’t start accruing until the first day of the following month. So, using this example, after 2 weeks the last check is received and 2 weeks later an annual leave payment follows, but then, two weeks after that they receive nothing- nada...
One of the most popular choices is to retire at the end of the year to maximize your annual lump sum payout. When a federal employee retires, all annual leave on the books (up to the maximum allowed hours) will be paid out to the employee in one check. I believe the best day to retiree is the last day of whatever month you decide to retire. The above-mentioned strategies are intended to be helpful, but at the end of the day, you need to decide for yourself when to retire.

Annual Leave

Annual Leave Carryover for leave year 2024 (M-01993) provides that for leave year, 2024, regular workforce career employees may carry over 520 hours of accumulated leave from leave year 2023 to leave year 2024. Generally, separating employees receive a lump sum terminal payment for a balance of annual leave up to 440 hours. Leave in excess of 440 hours would typically be forfeited. Because this memorandum temporarily expands the carryover limit, the maximum terminal leave in accordance with Employee and Labor Relations Manual Section 512.732 is also increased to 520 during the life of the memorandum, which is set to expire on December 31, 2024, at which time the carryover maximum would return to 440 hours.

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