Leave without pay


Q. I am considering requesting LWOP for an extended period. I am a postal employee with 25 years of postal service and seven years of prior goverment service for a total of 32 years. My question: When you go into a LWOP status, what are the restrictions, if any, on what you can and cannot do? For example, can you work a part-time job while on LWOP? Would you still be covered for health insurance while on LWOP status? What is the procedure for requesting all of this?

A. To learn more about the affect of leave-without-pay on your benefits, read OPM’s helpful leaflet at http://opm.gov/oca/leave/html/LWOP_eff.htm. A request for LWOP will first need to be made to your supervisor. Because approval of such a request is entirely at the discretion of your agency, the reason that you need to take it will need to be compelling. While there isn’t any restriction on what you can do while on LWOP, your actions ought not to be in conflict with you reason for taking it.


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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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