With early outs and buyouts popping up everywhere, it’s no wonder that employees are hunting for information that will tell them what kind of money they’ll be looking at when they cash in their unused annual leave. I’m here to tell you what the rules are and, especially, what types of pay are included in that lumps-sum payment.

You’ll receive a lump-sum payment for annual leave when you separates from the federal service or enters on active duty in the armed forces. As a rule, it will equal the pay you would have received in you had stayed on the employment roll until all that leave ran out.

To figure out how much you are due in that lump-sum payment, your agency will multiply your hours on unused annual leave by your hourly rate of pay, plus any other types of pay that you would have received while on annual leave.

Rather than focus on what won’t be included when calculating your lump-sum payment, I’ll list the things that are, adding caveats where the type of pay is restricted to certain groups of employees.

* Rate of basic pay

* Locality pay or other similar geographic adjustment

* Within-grade increase, but only if the waiting period was met on the day you separate

* Across-the-board annual adjustments

* Administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) pay, availability pay, and standby duty pay

* Night differentials for FWS employees only (including that portion of the lumps-sum periods that would have occurred when you were scheduled to work night shifts

* Regularly scheduled overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, if you were on an uncommon tour of duty

* Supervisory differentials

* Nonforeign area cost of living allowances and post differentials

* Foreign area post allowances

Not included are such things are allowances that are paid for such things as retaining you in government service, such as retention incentives and physicians comparability allowances. And there are others, too. So the best way to determine if some form of pay is included is to compare what you are receiving in your paycheck with the amount that is being deducted from it for retirement contributions.

FYI. If you are reemployed by the federal government, you’ll have to refund that portion of the lump-sum payment that represents the period between the date you were reemployed and the expiration of the lump-sum payment period. Once you paid back that money, your agency will recredit those annual leave hours to you.