Retirement with maximum annual, sick leave payout


Q. I am thinking about retirement at the end of 2013 to get the biggest payout on my annual leave but hate the idea of losing half of my sick leave by going before 2014. I believe the leave year (PP26) ends Jan. 11, 2014. If I were to retire no later than that date, could I cash in 400-plus hours of annual leave and get full credit for 1,700-plus hours of sick leave? I am told that you have to retire by the end of 1,700-plus in the calendar year if you don’t want to lose your excess leave, but I think that retiring by the end of PP26 might still allow me to cash in the excess leave.

A. Because the 2013 leave year ends Jan. 11, 2014, you could leave on that date and get both a lump-sum payment for your annual leave (including any that exceeds the annual limit) and full credit for your unused sick leave in the computation of your annuity. The only downside is that you wouldn’t be on the annuity roll until February.


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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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