Unused sick time and annuity calculation

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Q: Under the Federal Employees Retirement System, after 20 years, your annuity is figured at 0.011 percent of your high-3 salary average multiplied by your years of service. Below 20 years, the percentage used is 0.01. With the new law allowing 50 percent of unused sick time to be used for annuity calculations, can that time also be used to meet the 20-years-of-service criterion?

A: Let’s first get the computational facts straight. The standard FERS formula is as follows: 0.01 x your high-3 x your years of creditable service. The 0.011 multiplier is only used if you retire at age 62 or later with at least 20 years of service. Now, to your question: No, sick leave can not be used to meet the years-of-service requirement. It can only be added after that criterion has been met.

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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.

1 Comment

  1. If someone is 62, they only require 5 years of service to retire so they have met the eligability requirement. Therefore if their service time and sick leave added togethor equals exactly 20 years they should be eligable for the 1.1% factor. I asked the same question of my personnel department and got the below answer.

    “Section 1901 permits unused sick leave to be used as service credit in the computation of benefits under FERS, but not for establishing title to an annuity or in the computation of average salary.”

    http://www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/bals/2010/10-101.pdf

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