No – it’s not what you think! This is not a blog post dedicated to the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – although I wish her all the best! Today was supposed to be my first day of pre-retirement leave. I was supposed to be officially retiring on July 31st. However, when I went two weeks ago to fill out all the paperwork, I was astonished to discover that if I were to continue working till July 1st, 2013 (a mere eleven months!), I would be entitled to something called a “Jubilee Grant”. This is actually an extra (13th) salary paid annually to public servants after 25 or 30 years (depending on which salary scale you belong to) of service. In my case, I needed 30 years to be eligible for the grant. You would have thought I would be aware of how close I was to qualifying, but I actually had no idea, since no-one had thought to inform me that previous service in other branches of the public sector (not necessarily the Civil Service) are also taken into account, even when they don’t count for the purpose of calculating one’s pension. Thus, one receives 2% for every year of service in recognised branches of the Civil (ie. Government) Service, but service in a public institution such as the Hebrew University or the Jewish Agency is not taken into account. It does count, however, for the purpose of racking up the necessary seniority for the Jubilee Grant. Thus, instead of falling short of the required 30 years by five whole years, I required only eleven months. Furthermore, if I could bring proof of a further seven months service in the Hebrew University, the number of missing months would drop to four!
You can be very sure that I dropped everything else and devoted all my time to obtaining the requisite authentication. As a result, I received notification on Thursday afternoon that my request to postpone my (in any case early) retirement by four months had been granted.
As I said – today I was supposed to be on leave already. Mentally, I was prepared for a day spent taking it easy. However, I now have to make another “switch” and prepare for a “normal” week – insofar as any week is “normal” in this job 😉 .
Neverthless, I’ve decided to take the day off today – as I have no courtroom appearances scheduled for this week – to recover from the mental stress I have been through during this period of waiting. And while I’m about it, I may as well remember that I was born British and celebrate that other Jubilee, with a cake that I’m about to bake and plenty of tea, drunk in a china cup (with milk, the way it’s supposed to be drunk – LOL), in honour of Her Majesty – God bless her.