What Impact Does Sick Leave Have on the FERS Annuity Computation?

Because unused sick leave is used in the computation of my annuity, will it allow me to receive the 1.1% FERS computation factor?

Q. I read your answer to the question about the FERS 1% and 1.1% computation and I understand that if I retire at age 62 with 20 or more years of service, I will be entitled to a 1.1% computation factor for my FERS annuity, rather than the normal 1%.

When I reach age 62 in two years, I will have 19 years and 7 months of creditable service and over 5 months’ worth of sick leave. Because unused sick leave is used in the computation of my annuity, will my unused sick leave allow me to receive the 1.1% computation factor if I retire when I turn 62?

A. You’re not the only person who has this question; I’ve received several questions about the use of unused sick leave to reach the 1.1% computation factor.

While unused sick leave cannot be used to become eligible for retirement, it can be used in the computation. Those retiring at age 62 need only 5 years of creditable service to become eligible for retirement, so you’ve met the eligibility criteria.

Unused sick leave will be used in your computation so, yes, in the situation you outline in your question above, you will be entitled to the 1.1% computation factor for your FERS annuity. I’ve double checked this answer with other retirement experts and contacts at OPM.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at johnfgrobe@comcast.net to discuss schedules and costs.

About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.