Leave without pay


Q. I read on your site that leave without pay under six months in a calendar year counts as creditable service.  But I also read where it doesn’t count toward the retirement calculation.

I am CSRS but only have 19 years of law enforcement officer status as of June 10, 2014. Can I take a few months of LWOP in 2014 and 2015 and have this time count toward my 20-year LEO retirement computation if the LWOP is under six months in 2014 and under six months in 2015? Will the LWOP time under six months in each of these years count toward my 20-year LEO status and thus allow me to retire July 1, 2015, with the 20 years LEO at 2.5 percent plus the years prior to LEO at 2 percent?

A. I don’t know what you read, but if your period(s) of LWOP don’t exceed six months in a calendar year, it isn’t true. Whether your employer would approve of you taking that leave is another question. And the decision rests entirely with them.


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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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