Sick leave


Q. I am 75 with 28 years of federal government service under FERS. I am retiring at the end of 2012.

1. How is sick leave accounted regarding retirement (I have 1,400 hours)? Is this converted into time or money?

2. When is the best time to begin the retirement process (inform human resources, supervisor, etc.)?

3. If I’ve carried 240 hours of annual leave into the new year and continue to earn eight hours per pay period during the entire year, will I be able to cash in the 240 hours plus whatever I earned during the year?

A. Sick leave has no cash value. Instead, it is added to actual service time and used in the computation of an annuity. However, because you are a FERS employee, you will only get credit for half of it if you retire before Jan. 1, 2014.

There is no set time for notifying your supervisor that you are going to retire. However, if you do that at least two months in advance, it will help him to begin reassigning work and do some replacement planning. Letting the folks in personnel know that will allow you and them time to complete the paperwork and assure that there won’t be any last-minute hitches.

Finally, if you retire before the end of the leave year, you’ll receive a lump-sum payment for the annual leave you carried over from the previous year and any additional leave you earned before you retire.


About Author

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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