Annual leave hours at retirement


Q. What is the maximum amount of leave that I can cash in when I retire with my federal position? The only reason that I ask is my organization is stating no more than 240 hours. Does my Installation have the right to dictate how much leave they are willing to pay out when I retire? If that is the case, then where is the federal bill/policy that discusses this? Is the guidance discussed in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill? Bottom line: My goal is to make sure that I have all the facts prior to the submission of my retirement package.

A. Assuming that you are a GS or WG employee, the maximum annual leave you can be paid for at retirement is amount you can carry over from one year to the next (240 hours) plus any additional leave you earned before the end of the last pay period in the following leave year. For example, if your carryover is 240 hours and you used no leave in the year you retire, you could accumulate an additional maximum of 200 hours (8 X 25 pay periods), for a grand total of 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

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