Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Applying sick leave toward retirement milestone?

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Q: I will be 60 in December 2013 but will not have 20 years of service until April 2014. I have 1,000 hours of sick leave. Can I use that leave beginning Jan. 1, 2014, to reach the April milestone?

A: No. You must meet the actual age and earned service requirements to be eligible to retire. Unused sick leave can only be added after you meet those requirements.

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Repaying leave balances

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Q: My retirement date was July 1. I have negative-170 hours of sick leave and negative-32 hours of annual leave. I will receive an annuity, but I will get an interim amount first: How much will I have to pay back?

A: Unless your agency waives payment, you will owe a debt that must be repaid. Whether they will require you to pay it before you separate or ask the Office of Personnel Management to withhold the required amount from your annuity is a decision they will have to make. You need to talk to someone in your personnel office immediately.

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