Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Terminal leave and creditable service

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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?

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Terminal leave payments

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Q. The following is from the U.S. Postal Service Employment and Labor Relations Manual:

512.732 Entitlement Amounts
Separating employees may receive lump-sum terminal leave payments as follows:

Nonbargaining Unit Employees. Nonbargaining unit employees may receive a lump-sum leave payment for accumulated annual leave carried over from the previous year; accrued annual leave for the year in which they separate, including amounts over the carryover maximum; any unused donated leave; and for full-time and part-time regular employees, holidays that fall within the terminal leave period.
I retired Oct. 31 with an annual leave balance of 576 hours, for which I received a lump-sum payment.

That balance, if used, would have carried me into February 2014. Shouldn’t I have also been paid for all the holidays between my retirement date and the time my annual leave would have been exhausted?

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Military buyback

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 Q. I need to clarify my situation on military buyback into FERS as I keep getting conflicting answers. I am an Army reservist: 28 years of service with 24 active duty (365 days per year). I would like to enter government service. I know I cannot buy back my 24 years and receive both retirements once I am receiving my retirement pay. However, in the government employee book, it says I can buy back up to all of my active service as long as I am not collecting my military retirement. So if I am hired tomorrow, while on terminal leave, can I buy back my 24 years, vest in the civil service retirement and then apply for my military retirement and receive retirement pay and when I retire in say, six years from civil service, retire with both my civil service and my military retirements? Or would I have to wait and only apply for my regular reserve retirement at age 60 to receive both?

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Terminal leave

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Q. I work for the Defense Department. I will be retiring May 3, 2014. I have put in a request to take six weeks of annual leave. This was approved by my supervisor. Are there any rules not allowing this?

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Using annual leave before separation

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Q. I plan to leave my federal civilian position soon but would like to use all of my accrued annual leave at once (I have about 380 hours) and leave on the last day. Do I have a right to make this request for leave? Does it require supervisory approval?

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Terminal leave

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Q. I am a federal employee and I was mobilized with the National Guard for one year. I am now on terminal leave for 60 days following my deployment. Can I go back to work with the federal government while I’m still on military terminal leave?

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T42 and unused annual leave

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Q. My T42 appointment is expiring Sept. 30. The original appointment was for more than a year, but a recent extension was for 90 days. Will I be paid for unused annual leave, or should I take it before Sept. 30?

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Stopping retirement for a new position

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Q. I am 64 years old with 9½ years with the Air Force. I am planning on retiring in September. I previously put in for another position closer to home and now may be getting accepted for this new civilian job. Can I retract my retirement and accept this position, or do I have to retire then get reinstated back into the government? I have put in for leave and will be gone for the entire month of September before my retirement date. The new job begins in mid-October. I will not have any more leave after the end of September, so how do I stay with the federal government to start the new position in mid-October?

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Retirement date

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Q. I am CSRS and considering a retirement date of Oct. 31. But I want to check with you if a few assumptions that I am making are valid. First, Oct. 31 is the second Thursday in the pay period, and we work a compressed 5/4/9 schedule, where the second Friday in a pay period is a regular day off. Will retirement on Thursday, Oct. 31 complete the pay period for me and allow me to accrue the annual and sick leave for that pay period, and the full month of November retirement pay? Second, I am hoping to take a several-week vacation that would start on Oct. 26. Is there any issue in taking annual leave from Oct. 28 through Oct. 31 in this scenario?

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Start work with contractor before retirement?

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Q. I am a Defense Department civil servant retiring as of July 2. I have been offered employment with a contractor, but they want me to start the prior week. Can I take the job if I am on annual leave during that time and not retired yet?

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Terminal leave

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Q. In an answer to a question, Reg Jones replied (on May 13): “The Comptroller General has ruled that federal employees cannot take terminal leave before retiring.” What, exactly, is “terminal leave”?

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Terminal leave and retirement

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Q. For personal reasons, I would like to leave the government prior to the end of the year but want my retirement date effective Jan. 11, 2014, to get full credit for my sick leave. Would it make sense to take leave without pay to bridge the time?

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Re-employment and terminal leave

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Q. I am retiring from the Air Force on Sept. 1. How many days out can I accept a civil service job and when can I start working? My terminal leave starts July 15.

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