COLA questions


Q: My wife is a nine-year CSRS VA employee injured on the job.She was on LWOP receiving workers’ compensation till she reached over 80 percent of her former pay in the private sector. When she reaches retirement age, will the cost of living adjustments for the last 16 years be added on to her annuity. If she receives a new federal position does that entitle her to receive 16 years as time served? How is sick time calculated?

A: If your wife doesn’t return to federal employment, she could apply for a deferred annuity at age 62. That annuity would be based on her nine years of service and her highest three years of average salary on the day she went on LWOP. Her time on LWOP would not be included in that calculation. If she were to return to federal employment and later retire, the time she was actually on LWOP would be included in determining her years of service and used in the calculation of her annuity. Any sick leave she still had to her credit when she went on LWOP (and any new sick leave she earned) would be added to her service time after she met the age and service requirements to retire and used to increase the amount of her annuity.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

Leave A Reply