Retirement Benefits

OPM has put out guidance taking an expansive view on recrediting unused sick leave when a federal retiree is rehired by the government.

When an employee under CSRS retired, unused sick leave is fully creditable as time served in the calculation of the retirement benefit. Someone later rehired by the government started with a zero sick leave balance in the new job.

With certain limited exceptions, unused sick leave for someone retiring under FERS was not creditable in the retirement calculation, under traditional policy. However, that changed with a law that became effective October 29, 2009, in which half of unused FERS sick leave is creditable for retirements, or survivor annuity claims for death in service, between that date and the end of calendar year 2013. In 2014 and after, unused FERS sick leave will be fully creditable.

OPM in its recent guidance said that questions have arisen regarding whether a FERS retiree who received only that partial retirement credit for unused sick leave would have the balance restored if rehired by the government. It said the answer is yes, for those retiring through 2013. For retirements in 2014 under FERS, no sick leave will be recredited to a rehired annuitant since all of it will have been used in the calculation of the annuity, OPM said.