Q. I have about $1,500 in my flexible spending account. Typically, you have until March to use the funds. What happens in my case? Is the unused amount refunded to me on Jan. 1? Do I still have until March, or do I lose the unused amount? Also, Dec. 31 is a Monday and New Year’s Day, a federal holiday, is Tuesday. If the president gives federal employees all day off on Monday, will the Office of Personnel Management still count the 31st as my last day of work even though I will do all the paperwork in my agency…
Q. I am thinking about retiring Jan. 1, 2013, and I will have over 240 hours of annual leave. Can I get paid for the full 270, or do I need to use the amount over 240 (30 hours) before Dec. 31, 2012? A. Because the 2012 leave year doesn’t end until Jan. 12, 2013, you’ll receive a lump-sum payment for all of your hours of unused annual leave.
Q. As a result of an overseas tour, I have unused home leave on the books. What will happen to this leave when I retire? Is it paid out along with unused annual leave? Or does it just disappear? A. Home leave may only be taken during a period of service abroad or within a reasonable period of time after you return from service abroad when you are expected to return to service abroad immediately or on completion of an assignment in the U.S. When the home leave doesn’t meet those criteria, it is lost.
It’s not too late to retire in 2009, and it’s not too soon to at least begin planning to retire in 2010 or 2011. For this year and the next two years, the calendar is working in favor of many of you. Let me explain. As my regular readers know, my position is that there is no one best date to retire. However, each of you can pick the best one for you if you know how. First, you must figure out if you are ready to retire. To do that, you have to answer three questions: Do you meet…
Q: I am a letter carrier in the U.S. Postal Service. How much annual leave can I “sell” back at retirement? A: Because you are a bargaining unit employee, you can only receive a lump-sum payment for any unused annual leave that does not exceed the carryover limit for your bargaining unit. As a rule, that limit is 440 hours.
Q: Will civil service employees who have accumulated sick leave be able to roll this into their Thrift Savings Plan? If so, is there a limit? A: No you can’t. Unused sick leave has no cash value. It can only be added to your actual service and used in the computation of your annuity.