Annual leave projection for contractors


Q: This regards the recently enacted legislation that allows retirees to return to work on a part-time, limited basis. I noticed in a recent inquiry regarding annual leave, the following statement was made: “When you retire, unused annual leave is projected forward as if you were still on the agency’s rolls. If you were to return to work for the government after retiring, you would have to refund the money for any days that have not gone by.” My agency is considering hiring me back for two weeks after I retire to clean up some leftover work, but as a contractor. Does the annual leave projection also apply to contractors?
A: The rule applies to those who are appointed to a position in the federal government. As a rule, contractors don’t receive such an appointment. You need to check with your agency’s personnel office to see if you’ll be able to keep your lump sum annual leave payment or be required to pay some of it back.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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