Annual leave and sick leave accrual


Q. I am new to federal civilian service as of July 2014. Prior active-duty military service increased my annual leave accrual to 6 hours per pay period. My first day of work was in the middle of the 2-week pay period. My first Leave and Earnings Statement properly reflected 40 hours of pay. In working 40 hours (i.e., half of the regular 80-hour pay period) I expected to accrue 3 hours for annual leave and 2 hours for sick leave (i.e., one-half of the hours for each leave category). Instead, I did not accrue leave of any kind for my first 40-hour pay period. Please explain the reason(s) why leave is not accrued for new employees that start work in the middle of a pay period.

A. Annual and sick leave hours are only accrued if an employee completes a biweekly pay period. No credit is given for less than a full pay period. That’s the law.


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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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