Sick leave credit


Q.  For a CSRS employee with more than 30 years of service (and over age 55) how much difference in their retirement pension would a full year (2,087 hours) of accumulated sick leave make? Is there a user-friendly formula that employees can use to determine how much their accumulated full months of sick leave will affect their CSRS retirement pension? Do you think the current debate over deficit reduction could result in changes to CSRS retirement credit for accumulated sick leave?

A.  Here’s the rule of thumb. Your annuity would be increased by 2 percent for every year of unused sick leave; that’s 1/6 percent for every month. Since the exact percentage depends on how many years of service you have over 10, you can use the standard CSRS formula to get an exact amount:

0.015 x high-3 x 5 years of service, plus
0.0175 x high-3 x 5 years of service, plus
0.02 x high-3 x all additional years and full months of service
Just remember that hours of unused sick leave will be added to any hours of actual service that don’t add up to a full month. For retirement purposes, a month is approximately 174 hours long.
Could the current debate over the deficit result in changes to CSRS retirement credit? Sure. Will it? I have no idea; nor, at this point in time, does anyone else.








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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

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