Leave without pay


Q. I received a letter from shared services concerning leave without pay taken in 1982 and 1985 for maternity leave. I took over six months’ worth. How can they just now contact me after 31 years? I was never informed by any management that it would affect my retirement comp date, nor did shared services ever contact me to let me know it could have been paid back after all these years. When I called them, they said they do audits of files randomly and mine was picked. It now affects my retirement by one year and four months, which is fine. But how could they have let this go for 31 years and just now contact me? I planned to retire in January 2014 and am now forced to stay until 2015 and, if I chose, I could pay it back at $60,000. How could they have waited so long to find this out let alone contact me?

A. While I don’t know why you weren’t informed at the time, it doesn’t change anything. You won’t get retirement credit for any periods of LWOP that exceed six months in a calendar year and you can’t make a deposit to get credit for that time.


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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.

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