Q: I am a Federal Employees Retirement System employee and have just returned from an overseas tour. My annual leave ceiling while overseas was 360 hours (which is my current leave balance). Now that I am back in the U.S., will I be able to maintain the annual ceiling of 360 indefinitely if I only use “use or lose” time each year, or will the ceiling be adjusted at some point? I am planning for retirement and would like to keep as much leave on the books as possible for a lump-sum payout.
A: The ceiling which you had overseas became your new ceiling when you returned to the U.S. However, if you dip below that ceiling, the reduced amount becomes your new ceiling. For example, if your overseas ceiling is 360 and you have only 344 hours to your credit at the end of a leave year, those 344 hours will be your new ceiling.