Leave cash-in value depends on personal decision


Q. I will be retiring this year (2012), with 30.3 years as a Civil Service Retirement System employee. The leave year ends on Jan. 12, 2013. If I waited until then to retire to maximize my leave cash-in value, my annuity wouldn’t start until February 2013, but if I retired on Dec. 31, 2012, my annuity would start in January 2013. However, I would not maximize my leave cash-in value. Is this correct?

A. If you retired on Dec. 31, you would receive a lump-sum leave payment for all the annual leave you had accumulated up to that point. If you are a non-Postal Service employee who retired at the end of the following pay period, you would only receive a lump-sum payment for the maximum hours that could be carried over into the next leave year, which for most employees is 240 hours. However, if you are a Postal Service employee, your leave year doesn’t end until two weeks after that, not on January 12, which is a Thursday. Therefore, you would have a trade-off to consider: Receive a lump-sum payment that includes one more pay period’s worth of annual leave and lose one month’s annuity, or lose one pay period’s worth of annual leave and be on the annuity roll in January. It’s up to you.


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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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