Q. I am under FERS and have 30 years of service as of February. I will not be eligible for voluntary retirement until July 2013, when I will be 56. After completing 30 years of service and prior to my 56th birthday, I may be required to take extended leave, including leave without pay, to care for my elderly mother, who is in poor health. How will leave without pay affect my retirement?
A. First things first. You’ll have to get you supervisor’s approval to take extended leave without pay. If your request is granted, taking up to six months of LWOP in a calendar year won’t have any effect on your annuity. That period of time will be treated as though you were still on the payroll, and you won’t have to make a deposit to get credit for that time. On the other hand, you won’t receive any credit for LWOP that exceeds six months in a calendar year, nor will you be able to make a deposit to get credit for that time.