Q. I will have 20 years of service on Oct. 26. I have more than 1,300 hours of sick leave saved up. We were told that I could use half of my sick leave and retire early with 20 years of computed service. Now that I am in that window, I am told that I cannot retire with 20 years of service until Oct. 26 to receive the 20-year mark. What happens to the sick leave? Do I lose it, or do they use it to add to my retirement income?
A. Unused sick leave can’t be used to meet the age and service requirements to retire. Instead, once you meet the age and service requirements, unused sick leave will be added to your actual service and used in the computation of your annuity. Because you are a FERS employee, if you retire before Jan. 1, 2014, you’ll only be given credit for half of your sick leave.