Q: I want to retire Jan. 1, 2012. will I lose my 240 hours of accumulated leave? What is the use-or-lose date for 2011? A: In 2011, the leave year ends Dec. 31. However, even if you retire after that date, you won’t lose your 240 hours of annual leave; that’s the number of hours you can carry over from one year to the next. If you retire after Dec. 31, you would lose any hours of annual leave in excess of 240. Those are your use-or-lose hours.