The following is a question submitted by a reader to Federal Times columnist Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and the resident expert on federal employee retirement issues.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“I retired on Dec. 31, 2023. I had 448 hours of annual leave to be paid out via lump sum.

I received my payment at 448 hours with the 2023 pay rate. Should I have received 80 hours at the 2023 rate and 368 hours at the 2024 rate?”

Reg’s response:

When an employee leaves government, any unused annual leave is projected forward as if he or she was still on the payroll.

Any hours that precede a change in the hourly rate are to be calculated at that hourly rate and the remainder at the new hourly rate.

Clearly, you were paid less than you were entitled to. You need to ask your former agency to correct their error.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to:

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is our resident expert on retirement and the federal government. From 1979 to '95, he served as an assistant director of the Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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