Terminal leave


Q. In an answer to a question, Reg Jones replied (on May 13): “The Comptroller General has ruled that federal employees cannot take terminal leave before retiring.” What, exactly, is “terminal leave”?

A. Terminal leave is only relevant to members of the armed forces. Before separating or retiring from the military, members may take the remainder of their accrued leave. For example, if their separation or retirement date is Sept. 30, and they have 30 days of leave accrued, they may go on “terminal leave” beginning Sept. 1. All their outprocessing from the service would need to be accomplished prior to Sept. 1. Once they enter “terminal leave,” they would effectively be out of the military but would still collect a paycheck and other entitlements, such as basic allowance for housing, basic allowance for subsistence and medical coverage until their official separation or retirement date Sept. 30. As the Comptroller General made abundantly clear, federal employees can’t do that.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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