Expert's View

Reg Jones

Last week I wrote about leave accrual, carry over and cashing in when you retire. In short, when you retire you’ll receive a lump-sum payment for that leave. And it will equal the pay you would have received had stayed on the job until all that leave ran out.

Let’s look at that in more detail. Your agency will multiply your hours on unused annual leave by your hourly rate of pay. It will also include any other types of pay that you would have received while on annual leave.


Here’s what’s included when determining the value of your leave:

• 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 lump-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

• Non-foreign area cost of living allowances and post differentials

• Foreign area post allowances

What’s not included are such things as bonuses, allowances, overtime, holiday pay and certain differentials.

The best way to determine if a particular kind of pay is part of your basic pay is to compare what you are receiving in your paycheck with the amount that is being deducted from it for retirement contributions. If retirement contributions are being deducted, then it’s included; if they aren’t, it isn’t.