Monday, November 9, 2009

A cure for the "FERS flu?"

I know we talked about this earlier last week, but here's a little more detail.

As part of the Defense Authorization bill signed on Oct. 28th, those employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System, known as FERS, will now receive credit for unused sick leave at retirement. This will allow you to “add on” to your time-in-service in the computation of the annuity benefit.

FERS employees who retire before Jan. 1, 2014, will receive a 50 percent time-in-service credit for unused sick leave.

FERS employees who retire on or after January 1, 2014, will receive full time-in-service credit for their unused sick leave.

You cannot apply unused sick leave to satisfy the eligibility requirements for retirement. You must have the required years of service to make you eligible.

How will this benefit you? The more sick leave you accumulate, the higher your retirement annuity will be.

I don't know about you, but for me, sick leave is the ultimate insurance policy. Few other companies allow you to roll over your accumulated leave, which guarantees your income through any sickness, especially long-term illness.

But if you’re healthy and able to save your leave, you’ll also be able to reap financial rewards at the end of your career. (I never was sick, except for that blasted cold I got after flying kites in the rain.)

What do you think? Do most people know about this new provision? Do you think it will make a difference? Take the poll in the upper-right corner and then leave your comment here.

P.S. If you want to see how this will affect your personal situation, you can find FERS retirement calculators on the Internet.


Anonymous said...

Our District had a service talk to let employees know of the change. Receiving credit (1/2 or full) could benefit USPS by employees retiring sooner while maximizing their sick leave.

Anonymous said...

We found out about it shortly after it came out but it wasn't from the managment in my facility. I definately will go now once I turn 56 I won't get all of it but that's okay. I will be out of here. I would have gone with the early out if this would have been in affect that's for sure. Too bad they don't offer an early out again. It would be a see ya later from me. Let's just hope we don't loose that with our next union contract.

Anonymous said...

This will bring smile to those retiring before 2014 that they can get some benefit for saving those sick leaves and rest take extra care by Exercise and staying healthy to reap financial rewards and those genuinely sick to use it bravely or for consideration of others so that they don't infect others when it is so or care the dependents when they are sick knowing that they will be losing some financial reward but can decide their priorities whether money or taking care of health or caring for sick is important and also be saved from bullying bosses when you are always walked down the carpet when sick. Personally I thought I may not need this leave as I never had such leave before USPS but genuinely had to use it for sickness or caring for sick and my boss was quite understanding. I took extra care to explain when taken those leaves why I am forced to take it. So this benefit is more logical and appropriate now.

Anonymous said...

Having the sick leave can be very helpful in time of need. This takes away the "use it or lose it" attitude. Too bad we can't get more sooner. Until 2014 I see people using the leave so they won't lose it. While 50% is better than before, using all of it before retirement is what will probably happen.

Anonymous said...

I heard this has not been passed yet. Where can this be found in print?

Anonymous said...

I am so excited! I have 2200 hours of sick, and yes I may need to use some but I will be able to retire in about eight years and I now can add those hours on!!!

Anonymous said...

If it mirrors the DOD system, you "trade in" your sick leave in full 30 day blocks to earn a month's credit. So a month is worth 160 hours, if you end up with 150 hours....those simply fall off. So you have to really look at your balances.