"Use or lose" leave


Q: For retirement purposes my date of “separation” is planned to be Jan. 1, 2011. I chose this date so that I would accrue leave for the last pay period. I am, however, concerned if I will lose my “use or lose” leave balance if I retire/separate on Jan. 1, 2011, as opposed to Dec. 31, 2010.

A: Don’t be concerned. You can either retire at the close of business on Dec. 31, 2010 or on Jan. 1, 2011, which is the end of the leave year, and get paid for the leave you accrued in the last pay period. The same is true for any “use or lose” leave you might have to your credit.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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