Annual leave


Q. I am 55 years old and am looking to retire Dec. 31. I am in under CSRS and have 35 years as a federal firefighter. As of the end of 2012, I had accrued 600 hours of annual leave. I plan on saving my annual leave for this year and want to make sure that I will get paid in a lump sum for my accrued hours when I retire. Is this possible?

A. As a rule, federal employees working in the U.S. may carry over no more than 30 days (240 hours) from one leave year to the next. To receive a lump-sum payment for more than that amount, the employee must retire no later than the end of a leave year. I’m not aware of any exception for special category employees, such as firefighters and law enforcement officers.


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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