Sorting out sick leave accrual


Q: I am a retired soldier with 22.5 years of active-duty service, half enlisted and half officer, and four years in the reserves. When I entered the GS system a little over a year ago, I was told that my service time was used to compute my annual and sick leave and that I would be maxed out at eight hours per pay period because I had more than 20 years of service. I was only accruing four hours per pay period for some time, but just figured there was a paperwork backlog. I eventually asked about the matter and was told that I would accrue more time as long as I had been on active duty during particular campaigns, such as Dessert Storm and the Global War on Terrorism, and to resubmit my SF 813 (“Verification of a Military Retiree’s Service in NonWartime Campaigns or Expeditions”). I did that and waited again. When I called back a few months later after no response, I was told that four hours is all that I would accrue because I was only deployed six months to Iraq and that I was never stationed overseas. The woman I spoke with said that had I been stationed overseas at all I would accrue at least six hours, but probably eight. I felt like I was just being blown off because I was pestering her, so I’m not sure if I was given correct information.

Where can I view the regulation or guidance that explains this in non-HR-type terms? Why are my 26.5 years less valuable than the service of a soldier who came in for, say, six years, went to Germany and got out?

A: The sick leave accrual rate is a flat four hours per pay period, regardless of length of service. For information on when additional credit can be given for annual leave accrual, visit the Office of Personnel Management website here.


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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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