Sick leave


Q. I’m planning on retiring at the end of this year. I will have the 41 years, 11 months to get 80 percent of my salary. I don’t want to take any annual leave this year and instead use about 160 hours of excess sick leave that I have. Can I do that, or is there a rule that says I can’t use my sick leave that way in the last year of my government service? If it’s OK, can you tell me where it says it’s OK to do so? Is this just something my boss has to approve?

A. Taking sick leave just to avoid using annual leave is out of the question. You may only use sick leave for approved purposes — for example, when receiving medical, dental or optical examination or treatment, to provide care for a family member who is incapacitated by a medical or mental condition, to tend to a family member who would jeopardize the health of others because of exposure to a communicable disease, or to make arrangements required by the death of a family member or to attend that member’s funeral. Note: As a rule, you will have to provide acceptable evidence of your need for sick leave. Otherwise, your supervisor may not approve its use.


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