Unused sick leave and annuity computation


Q. I will be retiring on Jan. 3 with 41 years and two days of creditable service under CSRS. In addition, I have 3,519 hours (approximately 20 months) of unused sick leave. I am under the belief that my unused sick leave would be added to my years of service which would allow me to receive 80 percent of my high-3 years of salary. Would this be an accurate statement?

My employee and labor relations department is telling me that I would only receive 78 percent of my high-3 because I needed 41 years and 11 months of actual service to receive 80 percent. If my unused sick leave is added to my years of service, what happens to my unused sick leave (approximately nine months) after I reach 41 years and 11 months?

A. Your HR is dead wrong. Have them go to www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c050.pdf and scroll to Section 50A2.1-3F. As you and they will see, your unused sick leave will be included in the computation of your annuity. What may have tripped them up is the fact that unused sick leave can’t be added to actual service time to meet the years of service requirement to retire. It can only be added after that requirement has been met.


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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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