Sick leave, creditable service and retirement date


Q. I am an employee under FERS. How will my approximately 700 hours of unused sick leave count toward my total service when I retire in 2014? My service computation date is March 3, 1994, and I will be 62 years old when I plan to retire in March. If I retire Jan. 10, will my 700 hours of unused sick hours count toward my desired target of 20+ years of service, or must I wait until March 3 to hit the 20-year threshold?

A. If you retire on or after Jan. 1, 2014, you’ll get full credit for your unused sick leave; however, it will only count in the computation of your annuity, not in determining your years of service. That’s only important if you don’t already qualify for retirement on the basis of your age and years of actual service. In your case, you can already retire on an immediate annuity because you are at least age 60 and have at least 20 years of actual service.


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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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