Using sick leave


Q. Doesn’t it make sense once you hit your retirement date to use your sick leave instead of applying it to your retirement? You get paid your full salary while off, get credit for the time and time applies to the FERS annuity supplement.

A. While it might make sense, you have no right to burn off your sick leave. It may only be used for legitimate reasons spelled out in law and regulation.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. What about all the employee’s who don’t have any sick leave left? They already got paid in full and nothing was done to them. They still work right next to me. I have over 600 hrs of vacation time (which I can cash out 440 hrs of it and I will) and 2400 hrs. sick leave which is worth about $46,000. I’m going to only receive about $100 more a month when I retire. I’ll be dead before I see 25% of that $46,000 I haven’t called in sick since June 2016. How fair is that?

    • You have done well and should be congratulated. The agencies of those employees who used their sick leave improperly should have reined them in and, if necessary, instituted adverse action proceedings against them.

  2. What about using up sick leave before retirement when you have a genuine and significant medical condition with appropriate testing results and medical verification?

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