Unused leave and compensatory leave


Q. I am planning to retire at the end of this year and may have both credit and compensatory leave balances at that time. Is my agency required to pay me for this unused leave, or is it optional?

A. While comp time will be paid at the overtime rate in effect when it was earned, credit hours have no cash value and will be liquidated when you retire.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Alex Rodriguez on

    I’m confused. On a previous question someone stated that they understood that comp-time gets paid upon retirement, and they asked if the same was true for credit hours. You responded, yes, they will get paid. But here you are stating that credit hours has no cash value and will not be paid for. So what’s the difference? Do we get paid credit hours upon retiring or do we lose it?

    • You would be paid for a maximum of 24 unused credit hours at your basic rate of pay. I couldn’t find anywhere that I’d said it wasn’t creditable. If I did, I was wrong.

      • travel comp is also known as compensatory time for travel. I believe it is just a subcategory of comp time, accrued only when one is on travel orders, traveling to or from your regular duty station to the TDY. I think it is paid iut upon retirement but not certain.

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