CSRS sick leave


Q. I have a question. I have 2,300 hours of sick leave. I am under CSRS. I have been having some back problems that will require extended sick leave. I am eligible to retire with 37.5 years of service. My question is this: Is it more advantageous to take a year off on sick leave or to retire and use the sick leave as an additional year of service? I know it adds 2 percent for the sick leave.

A. You have a bigger problem than deciding which approach is the most advantageous to you. You aren’t the only player in this game. Your agency is the other one. You’d need to get its approval to take over a full year of sick leave. Since you are already eligible to retire and presumably would do so once your leave ran out, there isn’t any incentive for them to agree. They’d be paying you for not performing your job and, in all likelihood, keeping them from filling your position with someone who could.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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