Expert's View

I’m writing this for those of you who have just made the leap from employment into retirement. About now you are wondering about two things: when you’ll receive payment for your unused annual leave and how the amount will be calculated.

By law unused annual leave is projected forward as if you were still on the job. That’s an important fact, if you retired before the 2018 pay increase takes effect on January 7.


If you are a FERS employee who retired no later than December 31, those hours of unused annual leave that would carry you up to January 7 will be paid at your old hourly rate, while those starting on that date will be paid at the 2018 rate. If you are a CSRS employee who retired no later than January 3, fewer days will be paid at the old hourly rate and more on the new one.

Now you’re wondering when you’ll receive that payment. I wish I could tell you but I can’t.

What I can tell you is that it will be shortly after your agency closes out your employment record and a payment for your final days or weeks of service is issued by the Department of the Treasury. As a rule, both actions shouldn’t take too long. If they do, call your former payroll office and ask them what’s holding things up.

p.s. Ask nicely, and don’t gloat too much about how great retirement is.