Expert's View

The 2016 leave year ends on January 7, 2017. For those of you who are resigning or retiring before the new leave year begins, the good news is that you’ll receive a lump-sum payment for all your unused annual leave. That includes all the leave you carried forward from last year and any additional leave you have accumulated up to the day you leave or retire.

The lump-sum payment you’ll receive will equal the pay you would have gotten if you had stayed on the job until your annual leave ran out. Your agency will figure out the amount by multiplying your annual leave balance by your hourly pay rate, plus any other types of pay you would have received while on annual leave. These include:


Basic pay

Locality or other similar geographic adjustments

Within-in grade increase, if you qualified for one before you retired

Administratively uncontrollable overtime, availability pay, and standby pay

Night differentials for wage system employees

Regularly scheduled overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Supervisory differentials


Nonforeign area cost-of-living allowances and post differentials

Foreign area post allowances

The lump-sum payment doesn’t include allowances paid for the sole purpose of retaining a federal employee, for example, retention incentives or physicians comparability allowances.

To figure out the exact amount of money you’ll receive, your agency will project your lump-sum payment hours forward for all the days you would have worked if you had stayed on board. That includes any holidays that would have been covered during the period, and any across-the-board pay raises.

However, if you are reemployed in the federal government before that lump-sum payment period runs out, you’ll have to refund the money that represents the amount you received for the time between the day on which you were reemployed and the expiration of the lump-sum leave period.