Sick leave calculation


Q: I understand that President Barack Obama has approved Federal Employees Retirement System employees to receive service credit for unused sick leave. My question involves retirement prior to January 1, 2014, where an employee receives service credit for half of their unused sick leave. Does half of the sick leave have to be in whole months? Example: If an employee has 2,000 hours of sick leave upon retirement, this employee would have 11 months of service credit. At the half rate, would the employee be reduced to five-and-a-half months, or would the benefit reduce to five months (since only full months of leave count)?

A: At retirement, your unused sick leave hours will be divided by two, with half of them being added to any actual service hours that didn’t add up to one month. The total will be converted into retirement hours. This is done by dividing 2,087 — the number of hours in a work year — by 360, which represents 12 30-day annuity months. The result is a 5.797+ hour day and a roughly 174 hour month. After all the months are counted, any hours that are left over will be dropped.


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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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