Q: I am a CSRS postal employee. I have my 41 years, 11 months of service time and have one year of unused sick leave accrued. Will I be paid one lump sum for the sick leave, or will it add to my monthly annutity, even though 80% is the maximum? If added to monthly, how would the additional amount be calculated?
A: CSRS employees reach the maximum 80 percent limit when they have 41 years and 11 months of service. Therefore, when your annuity is computed, you’ll receive a refund of any contributions you made to the retirement fund that exceed that amount. You’ll have the option of taking the refund or using it to buy additional annuity, which isn’t subject to the 80 percent limit. Neither are your hours of unused sick leave. They will be added to your actual service and used in the final computation of your annuity. The number of sick leave hours in a year is 2,087. As a CSRS employee, that would increase the amount of your annuity by 2 percent. Just for reference, in case you have more or fewer hours of unused sick leave, a sick leave month is, on average, 174 hours long. Any hours that don’t make up a full month are dropped.