Q. had two brief periods of LWOP early in my career. Each was less than six months and neither was in the same calendar year. I am now planning to retire in the next year with over 36 years of service, but am unclear whether the LWOP periods will be subtracted from my Service Computation Date. I was always under the impression these periods would count toward my annuity computation because I was never on LWOP for anything close to six months in any calendar year. Then I read that in making the final annuity calculation, OPM deducts “any” periods of noncontribution to the retirement fund. Can you clarify?
A. While some periods of service where no retirement contributions were taken out of an employee’s pay aren’t creditable for determining length of service or used in an annuity computation, leave-without-pay that doesn’t exceed six months in a calendar year isn’t one of them. The effect of LWOP on benefits is described at http://opm.gov/oca/leave/html/LWOP_eff.asp.