T-COLA and annual leave


Q. I am a Postal Service craft employee in Hawaii planning to retire this year. We receive a 25 percent T-COLA on our base salary ($56,508) that also includes our annual leave as we use it, so our checks don’t shrink when on annual leave. Is the 25 percent T-COLA included on the terminal leave I wish to sell back at retirement?  If not, I will burn my annual leave before retiring.

A. Only if it is included in your basic pay and retirement deductions are taken from it. Note: You don’t have the option of “burning off” your annual leave before retirement. Requests for annual leave must be scheduled and approved by your supervisor.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

1 Comment

  1. It appears that the word “terminal” is used in two different ways. The Comptroller General has ruled that federal civilian employees may not take terminal leave, by which he meant that an employee cannot go on extended annual leave before separating from the service. While the law permits members of the military to do that, that right doesn’t extend to federal civilian employees. As the term is used by the U.S. Postal Service, it means ending one’s employment.

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