Q. I am a FERS employee and will be eligible to retire after Nov. 25. I have already received an estimate from human resources on pay. My sick leave balance will be about 400 hours at the time of my retirement. HR worked out a scenario with a retirement date of Dec. 31 and another with Jan. 31, 2013. Both showed my sick leave being worth only one month. I called and asked about the change on Jan. 1, 2013, of each 174 hours of sick leave being equal to one month of service, and that I should be able to get two months for 400 hours. HR said that may be a proposal but for now the only guideline they have is 174 = one month and 400 still only equals one month. Have you seen a policy change on when this will take effect?
A. Talk about being behind the times! On Oct. 28, 2009, the president signed Public Law 111-84, which, for the first time, allowed credit for unused sick leave to be given to retiring FERS employees. However, the credit was to be phased in. Any FERS employees retiring before Jan. 1, 2014, will only be given credit for half of their sick leave. After that, they’ll get full credit. Therefore, based on your planned retirement date, your HR people are correct.