Q: I am told that the max of annual leave that the Post Office will write a check for at retirement is 440 hours, however, in your examples you are showing ( 240 + 208 = 448). What is the rule?
A: The rule on how much annual leave can be paid out when an employee leaves federal service (either by retirement or otherwise) is simple; employees who leave federal service are entitled to payment for their entire balance of annual leave. Whoever told you that the largest check USPS would cut for A/L for a retiree was 440 hours was mistaken.
In most years, if an employee carries 240 hours of A/L over into the leave year, earns 8 hours of A/L a pay period, and does not use even one hour of the leave that was carried over and earned, they will have a total of 440 hours of A/L if they retire at the end of the year. However, in a leave year in which there were 27 pay periods, the total would be 448. The examples you referred in your inquiry (where I reference 448 hours as the amount payable) must have been from a few years age when we actually did have 27 pay periods in the leave year.
There are also situations when a balance of over 448 hours would be paid. Federal employees who are stationed overseas have a 360 hour carryover. SES members have an even higher carryover.