Accrued sick leave and retirement date


Q. I am a FERS employee who is planning to retire at the end of the year at age 63 with 30+ years of service. I will have a large accrued sick leave balance, and also plan to accrue as many annual leave hours as possible (over and above the 240-hour carryover allowance) to cash out at retirement. I understand that the entire amount of accrued sick leave can be used to increase my time in service during the retirement calculation process but not until 2014. Does that mean I can work through the last pay period of 2013 (ending Jan. 11, 2014) and qualify for the full credit, or will I be required to work at least one pay period of 2014 to qualify for the full credit?

A. If you retire after Dec. 31, 2013, you’ll get full credit for your unused sick leave. Just be aware of the rules that govern FERS retirement.

If you retire after the last day of a month, your annuity won’t begin until the following month. For example, if you retired on Dec. 31, your annuity would begin Jan. 1. However, if you retired Jan. 1, your annuity wouldn’t begin until Feb. 1.


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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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