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Reaching out to retired and retiring employees.

First of all, I would like to extend my best wishes to all of you and your loved ones for a healthy, prosperous and productive 2013.

Last month, I had the pleasure of participating in the annual Retirement Ceremony, where we celebrated the careers of approximately 200 recently retired Civil Service and Foreign Service employees. It was a great opportunity to acknowledge their many contributions to the State Department and to thank them for jobs well done.

Since the Department can benefit greatly from the talent and expertise of both our Civil Service and Foreign Service retirees, I hope those who are retiring will consider the possibility of returning to the Department as re-employed annuitants (also known as WAEs).

To move toward a more effective and efficient use of their talents, the Bureau of Human Resources (HR) is collaborating with bureau-level WAE coordinators and other program offices to develop the Department's first centralized WAE Global Registry Program. We will use a phased approach to begin the program's implementation this year. When the registry is finished, the HR Service Center (HRSC@state.gov) will be the initial point of contact for questions pertaining to the program.

At the Department, we recognize that we have a lifetime relationship with our retirees. To help maintain that relationship, we have an extensive Internet website (RNet. state.gov) for retirees' use. Resources available there include downloadable forms, a database of frequently asked questions and the Foreign Service Annual Annuitant Newsletter (found under "What's New").

Another way we maintain an ongoing relationship with our retired employees is by granting them access to the Harry S Truman Building. In fact, they can now escort their spouses and dependent children there as well.

With HR sponsorship, the Department recently approved the request of retired non-career ambassadors to also be granted unescorted building access. In December, I welcomed leaders of the Council of American Ambassadors and members of the group residing in the Washington, D.C. area, when they returned to the Department to celebrate the receipt of ID badges. I am grateful to colleagues in HR's Office of Retirement and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security's Credential Issuance Office for helping to make this happen.

Now I would like to share some tips with those of you who are retiring in the next few years.

Comprehensive retirement planning information can be found online on the HR Portal under the "Retirement" heading and on HR Online under "EBIS." EBIS also features the e-Retirement module, which employees must use to submit their retirement applications. Timely submission of applications is essential to timely processing. We urge employees to submit their applications at least 90 days prior to their retirement date.

To help motivate employees to submit their retirement applications on time, the Bureau of Human Resources established as a prerequisite that all employees must submit their retirement application prior to enrollment and course start date of the end-of-career Foreign Service Institute's Job Search Program (JSP). That prerequisite applies to all JSP students, including those from outside the Department.

The HR Service Center and the Office of Retirement are available to answer any retirement questions. You may call (866) 300-7419 or send your inquiries to HRSC@state.gov.

If you have any comments or suggestions about retirement-related issues or any other topic, please send them to me via unclassified e-mail at DG Direct. Thank you.

LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD DIRECTOR GENERAL
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Title Annotation:Direct from the D.G.
Author:Thomas-Greenfield, Linda
Publication:State Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 2013
Words:566
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