By Reg Jones
Q. I am a FERS covered employee and am anticipating retirement in 2018. Will I receive full pay for all of my unused sick and annual leave? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. Must you use all of your annual and sick leave before going on leave without pay?
Q. At 19, I was recruited and placed into a civilian Defense Department position as a cooperative education student. I would be placed on leave without pay during periods when I was attending college and not working. This continued for five years. My start date was June 1980 and I finished my degree in August 1985. My service computation date is April 1982. Is there an option to buy those LWOP periods to bring my SCD to 1980?
Q. I have 208 hours of use-or-lose leave. Will I get paid for it when I retire?
Q. I was hired by a federal agency while on terminal leave from the Army. Is this creditable service toward retirement from the federal agency?
Q. What are the differences if my retirement date is Nov. 29, 2014, or Dec. 1, 2014? I will be retiring from the Postal Service as a Level 18 postmaster. I am retiring under CSRS. My service computation date is July 6, 1979. I will be turning 55 on Nov. 16. I have worked continuously at the Postal Service, and I have 1,848.84 hours of accumulated sick leave.
Q. 1. Does management have a right to use leave without pay as a basis of a “black eye” and keep an employee from being promoted even though the employee has exceptional rating for more than three years?
2. Can management require a probationary period of one year prior to promotion if the employee is qualified and filling a GS-5,6,7 position as a GS-5 where the employee was promised to be promoted once accepting the position in front of witnesses?
The employee needed to be on LWOP due to excessive use of leave taking care of a family member’s medical issues, and the family member eventually died following treatments.
The agency never offered advanced annual leave or advanced sick leave or Family Medical Leave Act to this employee.
Q. Can you please comment on any pros and cons to retiring Nov. 29, 2014? I will have a prior balance of 208 hours of annual leave and 192 hours in 2014 accumulated as of that date and do not want to forfeit the use-or-lose balance.
Q. I am a 59-year-old FERS employee with 33 years of federal service. If I retire in May 2015, four months short of my 62nd birthday, will my 900-plus sick leave hours be used to push my service date past my birthday and therefore make me eligible for the .011 pension multiplier (instead of the .01 multiplier)?
Q. I’m FERS and will have 28 years and nine months in at my minimum retirement age of 56. I have a sick leave balance of 2,819 hours (I’ve never used any sick leave in my whole career). I’m 54 now and will work at least until 56. My sick leave credit will give me more time toward my FERS annuity (approximately 30 years). Does the sick leave give me 30 toward the special retirement supplement if I go at my MRA, or do I need to work until I have 30 years of service, which is three years from now. My hire date is Aug. 2, 1986.
Q. I am a full-time federal employee with more than two years of service, and I am also a veteran with eight years of active-duty service. I was informed by my supervisor that I should be accruing more than four hours of annual leave per pay period based on my years of service from the military. I am paying to buy back those eight years of military service. Do I have to wait until my eight years of service have been paid for to have my annual leave accrual adjusted, or should it be adjusted right away? I am a GS employee under FERS.
Q. My father was recently told he can no longer work. He is 62. The damage and arthritis in his hands is getting worse and he needs to file for workers’ compensation. The doctor also recommended early retirement. Can he file both? Should he do one or the other first to maximize his benefits since this was not anticipated?
Q. I am looking at retiring in January 2015. I will be 56 years old Oct. 15. I will have 30 years in as of Dec. 24. Waiting until the end of leave year to cash in all available annual leave. I am looking at cashing out my Thrift Savings Plan in a lump sum to pay off all debts. Will that income be considered part of earned income so that the special retirement supplement is reduced?
If so, would it be in my interest to retire at the end of 2014 so that my annual leave hits that year instead of 2015? I will have more than 1,800 hours of sick leave accrued by the end of 2014. Can that be used to offset the age so that I could perhaps retire earlier so that the TSP lump sum is counted in 2014?
Q. I was recently told by a more senior colleague that it is valuable to accrue the maximum amount of vacation days you can in your first year, such that you get the greatest value/return when you finally retire (assumes you don’t use this maximum amount and roll it over year over year). Is this true? Why is that the case? Is it because when you retire (if you have unused vacation days), you can request their value in payment/cash rather than taking them as time off?
Q. I am completely out of annual leave and sick leave and have recently received a cancer diagnosis. My local human resources department has informed me of two options: voluntary leave transfer program and advance leave request. However, I don’t want to have to worry about losing my job, etc., and may not feel good enough to come back to my old job. What are my options? Are there any disability benefits available to me? What is early retirement for someone like me who is only 48 years old and has eight years of service with the Veterans Affairs Department?
Q. Does the lump-sum payment for annual leave count against maximum earnings to be eligible for the special retirement supplement? Also, if I choose a retirement date and the application begins processing, can I back out before that date?
Q. I am planning to retire at the end of pay period 26, which is Jan. 10, 2015. I will have 13 years, 11 months and 20 days of service. I will be 10 days short of 14 years of service. If I have 80 hours of unused sick leave, will that cover the 10 days to get 14 years of service?
Q. I have about 700 hours of sick leave and can retire from CSRS the normal way. However, I am presently off of work and could use my sick leave until I retire.
Should I retire now and apply the sick leave time to my pension, or use the sick leave up and then retire?
Q. I am covered by FERS. At my minimum retirement age of 56, I will have 28 years of federal service and approximately one year’s worth of unused sick leave. My understanding is that if I retire at that point, my annuity will be reduced by 35 percent – 5 percent for every year I am under 62. Is there any way I can avoid this age reduction to my annuity other than:
1. Continuing in federal service until I am 58, at which point I will have 30 years of service without counting any unused sick leave, or
2. Postponing receipt of my annuity until I am age 60?
For example, what if I wait to retire until I am 57, at which point I will have 30 years of service including my unused sick leave. Could I retire at that point and start receiving my annuity without an age reduction at some point before I am 60?
Q. I retired from the Department of Agriculture on Jan. 3 with a balance of 440 hours of annual leave. The earnings statement for the lump-sum payment I received Feb. 1 shows that I was paid at my 2013 GS-12 hourly rate. I thought I was to be paid for this leave with the new 2014 hourly pay rate that is 1 percent higher since this payment was made after the new rates went into effect. Am I correct? If so how do I get this rectified?