Calculating months of sick leave


Q. I am a Postal Service employee, and I am confused about the number of hours (174) needed to add up to a month of sick leave. Could you explain your calculation?

A. Annuities are computed using years and full months of service. Once an employee is eligible to retire, any days that don’t add up to one month are converted into hours and combined with unused sick leave hours. To equalize annuity payments, OPM uses 12 30-day months. To find out how many hours equal one month, it divides 2,087 (the number of hours in a work year) by 12. As a result, 173.9 hours (rounded up to 174) equal one month.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

Leave A Reply