Unused annual leave


Q. I know that when you receive your check for unused annual leave (assuming you retire in December), it will generally include any scheduled raise slated for the next year. My understanding is that it is caused by the annual leave check covering the rate of pay for the period of time cashed in. So if the amount of annual leave exceeds the amount of leave you are permitted to carry over without losing that leave, for example in the year before your retirement, you take no annual leave and therefore have accumulated 448 hours of leave as of the date of your retirement, then will the rate of pay for the annual leave excess include any raise for the next year? If you were to cash in that amount of leave, you would be cashing in leave that would carry over to the next year. Would you receive that raise as well or would the use-it-or-lose-it rule regarding leave prevent your from receiving the additional raise?

A. You will receive a lump-sum payment for all your annual leave. And it will be based on the hourly rate of basic pay you would have received if you remained on the job. That includes any annual pay increase. Note: If you are a Postal Service bargaining unit employee, the maximum amount you can carry into retirement is 440 hours.


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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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