CSRS, LWOP and retirement


Q. I am under CSRS and have 28 years in the federal government. I have developed neck, back and disk problems from a car accident I was in three years ago. I also suffer from severe asthma, allergies, and anxiety. I need to be in regular therapy for my back. I’ll be 52 in November 2011, and do not have the age yet for retirement. Is it allowable to use leave without pay in combination with annual and sick leave for continued therapy until I reach 55 and have 30 plus years and can retire? The LWOP will not exceed six months each year. I’ll be using LWOP one to two days per pay period. Also, under what program could I retire under with 30 years in even if I am not yet 55? I need time to take of myself and continue with my life as best as I can.

A. While those forms of leave could be used to extend your employment, you would need to verify the need to use extended amounts of sick leave. Annual leave use may be approved when it doesn’t interfere with work requirements and the leave schedules of your fellow employees. And LWOP could be granted only at the discretion of your supervisor. Rather than impose on your agency for three essentially unproductive years, you might want to consider applying for disability retirement.


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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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