Unused sick leave calculation


Q. I am a FERS employee who will be retiring in June with 30 years at age 56. I understand that my 10½ months (1,759 hours at present) of unused sick time will be added to my annuity. I also understand that at my salary of $56,810, my monthly annuity with almost a year of unused sick time is only an additional $40 per month. Am I correct, or am I missing something?

A. You’re close. Your FERS annuity will be computed using the following formula: .01 x your high-3 x your total years and full months of service.

If your high-3 was $56,810 and you had 30 years of actual service, your annuity would be $17,043 ($58,810 x .01 = $568.10 x 30). If you had 1,800 hours of sick leave when you retired, it would increase you service time by 10 months. Because one year of service equals $568.10 (as shown above), each month of sick leave would increase your annuity by $47.34. Therefore, 10 months would increase it by $473.41.

When you do your own computation, be aware that actual days of work that exceed a full month and any unused sick leave are converted to retirement months. To equalize annuity payments, a year is divided into 12 30 day months. Because a work year, by law, is 2,087 hours long, a retirement day is 5.794+ hours. So a retirement month is approximately 174 hours long.

Any hours that don’t add up to a full month are discarded.


About Author

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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