Negative sick leave balance


Q. If you have a negative balance for sick leave (i.e., -149.50 advance sick leave), and you are medically retired from the federal system, how is that deficit addressed? Is it repaid out of your earnings or wiped from the books?

A. According to OPM, “When an employee who is indebted for advanced sick leave separates from Federal service, he or she is required to refund the amount of advanced sick leave or the agency may deduct that amount from any pay due the employee upon separation. However, if the employees dies, retires for disability, or is separated or resigns because of disability, the requirement to repay does not apply. The agency makes the determination as to whether an employee has separated or resigned because of disability.”


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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