Pay periods and leave calendar


Q: I am trying to determine the best date to retire at the end of 2013. I want to maximize the amount of lump-sum leave I would be entitled to and also to take advantage of the new FERS sick leave policy. The pay period calendar shows that pay period 26 for 2013 begins Dec. 29, 2013, and ends Jan. 11, 2014. I plan to have my 240 hours of annual leave carry over and my earned leave for 2013 of 208 hours at the end of 2013, for a lump-sum payout of 448 hours. If I retire Jan. 10, 2014, would I lose the amount of leave (208 hours)? Or does the leave year calendar include pay period 26?

A: In some years there are 26 pay periods, in others 27. All that matters is when the leave year ends. The information you received is correct. For 2013, the leave year ends on Jan. 11, 2014. Therefore, if you retire on or before that day you would receive a lump-sum payment for all your unused annual leave. However, don’t forget that if you are a CSRS employee who retires after Jan. 3, or a FERS employee who retires after Dec. 31, you won’t be on the annuity roll until February, with your first annuity payment due in March.


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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

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