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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  1. I wasn’t a math major but you’d be better off using your sick leave prior to retirement.

    If you get “sick” at 34 yrs of service and need to be off 2080 hours prior to retirement you’d get paid the whole $60,000.

    If you work the 35 yrs and get 1 yr credited towards your annuity you would only get $600 more a year and say you only live 25 more yrs….you’d only get $15,000 for the unused sick leave.

    Thanks for being a dedicated employee and coming to work all the time and not calling in sick….you used it smartly and saved it all in case of an emergency….and by not making your employer use OT to cover…they will now reward you by asking you to give up $45,000.

  2. 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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