Maximum leave carryover


Q. I am a federal employee now working stateside but have worked overseas where my maximum annual leave carryover amount was 360 hours. My local human resources officer and comptroller are telling me that any time I drop below 360 hours of annual leave on the books, within a given leave year, my new maximum leave carryover amount will be the lower amount that I have on the books (which is below 360 hours).

But some employee handbooks/desk guides seem to imply that as long as you are at 360 hours at the end of the leave year, you will be able to keep 360 as your maximum leave carryover amount.

I had to take some annual leave to attend two funerals in January. And since I was right at 360 at the end of the leave year, my leave balance dropped slightly below 360 because of the leave I had to take early in the year.

Are my HRO and comptroller reading the regs correctly? It seems like they are penalizing me for taking leave so early in the year. Or is the intent to try to equalize your leave balance and bring your maximum carryover amount to 240 as soon as possible?

A. Your new annual leave carryover balance would be the amount you had to your credit when the new leave year began. If you fell below the retained level on that date, it would become your new maximum carryover amount. So, for example, if your maximum carryover was 360 hours but it had fallen to 346 hours when the new leave year began, 346 would be your new maximum.

However, if your leave balance had fallen to 346 during the year but had grown to 360 when the new leave year began, your maximum carryover would still be 360.


About Author

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

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