Use or lose leave

Q. My brother just retired from a civilian job with the Army.  He had about 130 hours of use- or-lose leave which was good until the end of this year that he thought would be included with his lump-sum leave payment.  However, the local HR office did not include it and says that because he didn’t use it, it is just lost.  Does he have any recourse?

A. If what he had was regular earned leave in excess of 240 hours that hadn’t expired, the way some restored annual leave or comp time does, then what he was told was nonsense. He was entitled to a lump-sum payment for the entire amount of leave he had to his credit when he left. Use-or-lose leave is only lost if someone retires after the end of the leave year. He needs to talk with his former agency and straighten them out. If they don’t make the correction, he’ll have to go higher up in his agency and, if necessary, to OPM.


About Author

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

1 Comment

  1. Title 24 Sec 2802 The Indian Country Law Enforcement Reform Act which was passed in 2010 increased the entry age to 47.Title 24 Sec 2802, (D) Maximum age requirement
    Pursuant to section 3307(e) of title 5, the Secretary may
    employ as a law enforcement officer under section 2803 of this
    title any individual under the age of 47, if the individual
    meets all other applicable hiring requirements for the
    applicable law enforcement position.
    But did not raise the mandatory age of 57

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