Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

RIF while on medical leave

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Q. In June, I scheduled a total knee replacement surgery for Oct. 22. That will put me on sick leave for six to eight weeks (maybe longer) and then light duty. On July 1, my agency announced a reduction in force with notices going out in September, the RIF effective Nov. 20 and people off the rolls Nov. 30. I am 59 with 19 years and four months of service. My service computation date is Dec. 15, 1979. My SCD for leave is March 7, 1994. I have planned to retire Mar 31, 2014. If I am RIFed, I would be out just three months and seven days from reaching my 20-year mark. I have 973 sick leave hours and 269 annual leave hours. I understand sick leave cannot be used for computation purposes to reach 20 years. If I were to be RIFed while on sick leave due to a major medical procedure, would I be able to extend beyond the RIF effective date on sick leave and then eventually reach March 7, 2014, with annual leave so I can voluntarily retire?

A. Yes. Go to www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/personnel-documentation/processing-personnel-actions/gppa18.pdf, Exceptions to Reduction in Force Release, scroll to Table 18-A, and see Rules 1 & 2.

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