Changes to accrued sick leave


Q. I have heard a rumor that President Obama changed the Office of Personnel Management guidelines regarding the sale back of accrued sick leave. Do you know of such a change? I will be leaving federal service in August and have quite a bit of sick leave. I will not be retiring because I don’t have five years’ service.

A. First, let me correct a misunderstanding. Federal employees have never been able to sell back their sick leave. Instead, if they are covered by CSRS, when they retire, their unused sick leave is added to their actual service and used in the computation of their annuities. FERS employees got no credit for their unused sick leave until the law was changed. FERS employees retiring before Jan. 1, 2014, now get half credit for their unused sick leave. If they retire after Dec. 31, 2013, they will get full credit for it.


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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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