FERS sick leave


Q. I am 54 years old with 16 years of federal service under FERS. I am eligible to retire at my minimum retirement age (56) on the MRA+10 option. At that time, I will have approximately 700 hours of unused sick leave. Can I apply the unused sick leave to my time in service, reducing the amount my annuity is cut? If I retire at 60 with 22 years of service, my annuity will not be reduced, but my accumulated sick leave becomes worthless, correct? Can I retire at 59½ and apply the sick leave to the end of my service?

A. While sick leave can’t be used to make an employee eligible to retire, once he is eligible, those hours are added to his actual service and used in the computation of his annuity. That’s true regardless of his age and years of service. Note: FERS employees who retire before Jan. 1, 2014, only get half credit for their unused sick leave. If they retire on or after Jan. 1, they get full credit.


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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.

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