Unused sick leave


Q: As a postal worker under FERS, I will retire with 35 years service with a balance of one year of unused sick leave. Will I be credited as if I had worked 36 years? I earn $60,000 annually. How many retirement years will it take me to receive and realize the year of sick leave I turn back?

A: If you retire after December 31, 2013, you’ll get full credit for your unused sick leave. If you have 2,087 hours, you’ll receive one year’s credit in your annuity calculation. Therefore, using your figures, instead of the formula being 0.01 x $60,000 x 35, it will be 0.01 x $60,000 x 36. Since I have no idea what you are getting at with your second question, I can’t respond to it.


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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.

1 Comment

  1. Sick Leave is a form insurance when employees are legitimately sick. The really good thing about SL is that you can save it without limit. Should you have a serious illness, saved SL will come in mighty handy, even vital for the employee and his family. Using sick leave unless you are sick is an abuse of leave and employees are disciplined for that, if the supervisor is doing his job. The notion that unused SL is something that is owed to employees was never the intent and employees retiring are not “entitled” to full payment for unused hours. Cultivating this feeling of entitlement serves no good purpose. The current policy of using the unused SL for annuity computation is quite reasonable. Retirement from the federal service was a good time to reflect that I worked for a good company who took good care of me and my family. The current sick leave policy is a good example of that good care.

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