Annual and sick leave


Q. Under the FERS retirement system, can you cash out annual leave and sick leave?

A. Whether you are resigning from the government or retiring, you will automatically receive a cash payment for your unused annual leave. On the other hand, sick leave has no cash value. If you retire, your sick leave balance will be added to your service time and used to increase the amount of your annuity. If you leave government and later return, any unused sick leave will be restored. If you don’t return, it will be lost, even if you later apply for a deferred annuity.


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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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