Unused annual leave

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 Q. I am a federal employee contemplating retirement. I am a CSRS employee with 39½ years of service. My understanding is that, if I retire at the end of the year, I can accumulate up to 448 hours of annual leave and be paid for it. Is that correct?

A good friend of mine works for the Treasury Department (Senior Executive Service employee) and he recently told me that he can accumulate up to 770+ hours of annual leave and be paid for that also. If that’s true, why can the SES folks accumulate so many unused hours of annual and be paid for the leave and not a GS-13?

A. Unless you are a Postal Service employee, you can receive a lump-sum payment for as many hours of annual leave as you have accumulated on the day you retire. As for why SESers can accumulate and be paid for a higher number of annual leave hours, it was one of the incentives included in the law that established the SES. That law allows an SESer to carry up to 720 hours of annual leave from one year to the next. SESers who had more than that amount as of October 1994 were allowed to have that higher rate grandfathered as a personal leave ceiling.

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