Retirement and annual leave payment timing


Q. I am a CSRS employee who plans to retire at the end of 2012 and plans to have 440 hours of annual leave, for which I wish to get paid in 2013 so it will be in my 2013 income.

I understand that I could retire Dec. 29, which is the end of the 26th pay period, and receive this annual pay in my last paycheck, which I would receive Jan. 4, 2013.

Can I retire Jan. 3 and still carry over my extra leave and get paid for that in the 27th paycheck, which would be issued Jan. 14?

A. You can retire Jan. 3 and receive a lump-sum payment for all your unused annual leave. However, if you do, your first month’s annuity will be reduced by 1/30 for each day you are still on the payroll. Note: If it helps in your decision making, lump-sum annual leave payments are rarely included in the final paycheck. They are usually made only after your personnel file has been closed out by your agency.


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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

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