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Annual Leave

U.S. Office of Personnel Management

An employee may use annual leave for vacations, rest and relaxation, and personal business or emergencies. An employee has a right to take annual leave, subject to the right of the supervisor to schedule the time at which annual leave may be taken. An employee will receive a lump-sum payment for accumulated and accrued annual leave when he or she separates from Federal service or enters on active duty in the armed forces and elects to receive a lump-sum payment.


Accrual Rates
Type         Employed < 3 Years         Employed 3-15 Years         Employed 15+ Years        
Full-time 4 hours/pay period 6 hours/pay period; 10 hours last pay period 8 hours/pay period
Part-time 1 hour for 20 hours worked 1 hour for 13 hours worked 1 hour for 10 hours worked
Uncommon tours of duty (4 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate. (6 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate. (8 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate.


Credible Service For Leave Accrual


Civilian Service


All civilian service that is potentially creditable for Civil Service Retirement Service (CSRS) purposes, including service covered by the Federal Employee Retirement Service (FERS) is also creditable for annual leave accrual. Potentially creditable service includes service that could be credited if the employee made deposits to the retirement fund. Such deposits are not required before the employee gets credit for annual leave accrual purposes.


Uniformed Service

  1. For non-retired members, full credit for uniformed service (including active duty and active duty for training) performed under honorable conditions is given for annual leave accrual purposes.
  2. For retirees, annual leave accrual credit is given only for: Actual service during a war declared by Congress (includes World War II covering the period December 7, 1941, to April 28, 1952; All active during during a “Period of war” including World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam era, the Persian Gulf War.

Non-Federal Service or Uniformed Service


A newly appointed or reappointed employee may receive service credit for prior non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service that otherwise would not be creditable for the purpose of determining his or her annual leave accrual under the conditions prescribed in 5 CFR 630.205.


Advance Annual Leave


Supervisors may grant advance annual leave consistent with agency policy. The amount of annual leave that may be advanced is limited to the amount of annual leave an employee would accrue in the remainder of the leave year. Employees do not have an entitlement to advance annual leave. In most cases, when an employee who is indebted for advance annual leave separates from Federal service, he or she is required to refund the amount of advance leave for which he or she is indebted.


Annual Leave Ceilings


Maximum Annual Leave That May Be Carried Over into the New Leave Year


Federal Employees Stationed within the United States (30 days)

Federal Employees Stationed Overseas (45 days)

Members of the Senior Executive Service (90 days)

Any accrued annual leave in excess of the maximum allowed by law will be forfeited. Forfeited annual leave may be restored under 5 U.S.C. 6304(d).


Annual Leave to Establish Retirement Eligibility


An employee may use annual leave to establish initial eligibility for retirement in reduction-in-force and other restructuring situations. An employee who has received a specific notice of termination in a RIF situation may use annual leave past the date the employee would otherwise have been separated in order to establish initial eligibility for immediate retirement, including discontinued service or voluntary early retirement.


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