Your retirement benefit is based on your salary average (3 years for pre-April 2, 2012 members, 5 years for post April 1, 2012 members), years of service and age. As you plan your retirement date, keep those factors in mind. If you are under 65 (or 67 for post April 1, 2012 members) chose a date that is on or after your next birthday, in order to increase your age factor. Service is calculated in full months. Choose a date based on your hire date to maximize service. For example, if you started work on the 15th of the month, choose the 14th of the month to retire. If you retire and take a lump-sum payout of your vacation time, you will not receive service credits for the vacation time or be allowed to include this payment in your salary average. You can take your vacation as paid time and then retire when your vacation time is exhausted to increase your service credit. It may be more beneficial to your to take the vacation as a payout. Retirement estimates can help you determined this. You can use the Retirement Calculator to help you decide on a retirement date. You can also ask the retirement staff to do a more accurate estimate for you.