Annual leave carryover


Q. Postal Service employees can carry over 440 hours of annual leave. The next year, they earn their new annual leave upfront (208 hours), making their balance 648 as of January. They work every holiday for leave for an additional 80 hours of leave and take no annual leave during the year, making their balance 728 hours of annual leave. They now want to retire Dec. 31. Will they get paid a lump-sum check for 728 or only 440 hours?

A. As a rule, Postal Service bargaining unit employees may only receive a lump-sum payment for 440 hours of unused annual leave. To find out if there is a contractual provision that would allow you to receive payment for any more than that, you’ll need to talk with your bargaining unit representative and your personnel office.


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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