Maximum annuity


Q. I was told that because I have 43 years of service with 2500 hours of sick leave, I will get 82 percent annuity and that the two months of unused sick leave will be given to me in a lump-sum cash payment, just like my unused annual leave. It was stated this was a new law. Is this true?

A. Not quite. After you have worked for 42 years and 11 months, you’ll have reached the maximum earned annuity limit of 80 percent of your high-3. Any unused sick leave will be converted into retirement months and, because it isn’t subject to the 80 percent limit, used to increase the amount of your annuity. When you retire, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will let you know the amount of your excess contributions. They will then offer you the option of having that money returned to you with interest or of having it used to purchase additional annuity under the rules governing the voluntary contributions program. For more information about that, go to

FYI: This isn’t a new law. It’s a very old one.


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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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