Use-or-lose annual leave at retirement


Q. I am planning on retiring from CSRS at the end of this year. I will be 56 years old and have a little more than 32 years of government service.

1. I currently show 150 hours of use-or-lose annual leave on my last pay stub. If I go into the end of the year and retire with use-or-lose leave on the books, will I get paid for it? Or do I need to burn up the use-or-lose leave before I retire?

2. As I look at the 2013 calendar, to retire at the true end of the payroll year, is there any advantage either way for me to retire at the end of either of the following pay periods? Retire on Dec. 28, 2013, vs. Jan. 11, 2014?

A. 1. If you retire before the end of the leave year, you’ll be paid for all of your unused annual leave.

2. Deciding on which date to retire is a personal matter. Figuring it should keep you occupied and out of mischief.

As a first step, compare the extra income you’d receive by staying on plus the additional leave earned with what your annuity would be at each point.

Note: If you retire at the end of a pay period, you’ll get credit for any annual and sick leave you earned during those two weeks.


About Author

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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