Returning to service, repaying annual leave


Q: Mr. Jones answered a question on Dec. 2 (“Annual leave and returning to federal service”) pertaining to lump-sum payment for annual leave for one returning to federal service. The answer was: “As required by law, you will have to return every penny you received for annual leave that hasn’t expired between the time you retired, and the time you return to work.”

Two questions: Can you provide citations to statute and/or regulations that require this result? And what does “hasn’t expired” mean? The leave year typically ends in early January. If you retire in July and return to work in November of the same year, do you have to repay because you are within the same leave year, and leave “hasn’t expired”?

A: The answer to your questions will be found at Just scroll down to “Return to Federal Service.”


About Author

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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