Calculating creditable service


Q. I am a FERS employee with 32 years. I was told by human resources that retirements were calculated on 30-day months/a 360-day year. That means we lose five days per year. How does that affect our retirements? For me, that is 160 days lost.

A. No, you don’t lose five days a year. What you were told applies only to annuities. Two things are at work here. First, annuities are based on years and full months of creditable service. Any leftover days are converted to hours and added to any unused sick leave. The legally mandated hours in a work year — 2,087 — is divided by 12, producing 12 30-day months that are approximately 174 hours long. These additional months are added to a retiree’s earned service and used in the computation of an annuity. Any leftover hours are discarded.

Note: Retiring FERS employees only receive half credit for their unused sick leave unless they retire on or after Jan. 1, 2014.


About Author

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

Leave A Reply