Terminal leave versus lump sum


Q: I am a FERS employee and at the end of May 2011 I will have 32 years of federal service. At that time, I will have about 280 hours of annual leave accrued and I was thinking about taking terminal leave at that time rather than retiring in May and taking a lump-sum payment. This would give me a little more accrued time for retirement calculation as well as allow me to put into TSP for a little longer. I have enough money put away for us to live on once I finally retire while I wait for all the paperwork to go through. However, I don’t see many people doing this. What are the downsides of taking such a route?

A: There is no such thing as terminal leave in the federal government. Therefore, your agency has no reason to approve your request, especially because there isn’t anything in it for them.


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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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