Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Uncredited sick leave

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Q. I will have 36 years, seven months and 18 days of CSRS creditable service when I retire on Jan. 3, 2014. At that time, I will have earned one year, seven months and 19 days of unused sick leave credit. This gives me 38 years, three months, and seven days if total CSRS service credit for computing my annuity.

If I understand the Federal Retirement Benefits statement my personnel section provided me, the seven days are dropped and not considered in the calculations. The report has a footnote for the seven days that states, “7 days of unused CSRS service credit equals 41 hours of sick leave.” How do they get 41 hours out of seven days? I work an average of 40 hours per week and five days per week for an average of eight hours per day, so why would seven days of unused leave not be equivalent to 56 hours of unused sick leave?

A. When you retire, any hours that don’t add up to one month are converted into retirement hours. A work year is 2,087 hours long. To keep annuity payment equal, a retirement year is 360 days long, or 12 30-day months. As a result, a day is 5.797+ hours long (2,087 divided by 360). Therefore, your unused seven days equal 40.58 hours (7 x 5.797+). That figure is rounded up to 41 hours, the number they gave you.

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