Sick leave and retirement


Q: I am 54 years old and under the FERS system of retirement with close to 20 years of service. I will turn 56, the MRA, in September 2012. My plan is to take sick leave with a combination of LWOP from Aug. 1, 2011, to Sept. 29, 2012, and around July 2012 apply for the MRA+10. Does this seem logical?

A: Your plan is self-centered and doesn’t take into account the needs of your employer. Sick leave may only be taken if it fits one of the reasons stated in regulation. Leave-without-pay may be granted at the sole discretion of your supervisor, who would need to have a better reason for doing so than allowing you to reach a date where you could retire.


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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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