Q. I am a Defense Department civilian employee under FERS. My date of birth is March 15, 1954. My EOD was Oct. 1, 2007, which gives me five years of service. I have accrued 111.75 hours of annual leave, 80 hours of sick leave and 8.5 credit hours as of the pay period ending Oct. 6. I do not meet eligibility requirements for an early retirement under FERS, so If I resign within the next few weeks, what is the process I need to go through, and what can I expect as far as payout? Will I lose any of my leave? What are my options, if any? I also have 32 years of service in the private sector.
A. When you separate from the government, your agency will give you a lump-sum payment for any unused annual leave and credit hours. As a rule, it will be included in your final biweekly paycheck. To receive a refund of your retirement contributions, you’ll need to fill out a copy of Standard Form 3106, Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions, and send it to the Office of Personnel Management. That form is available from your personnel office or at www.opm.gov, click on Find Form(s).
While you won’t receive anything for your unused sick leave, if you ever returned to work for the federal government, those hours would be recredited to you. Because you were covered by FERS, you were earning Social Security credits for the entire time period of your employment. When you are eligible for a Social Security benefit, those credits will look no different from the ones you earned in the private sector.