Annual Leave and Retirement

Annual Leave and Retirement

Last week, we discussed how to time your retirement in the most beneficial way, with regard to beginning your annuity payments. Since your annuity payments will comprise an important part of your income in retirement, it certainly makes sense to give extra weight to that factor in your overall retirement planning equation.

But, as we mentioned, there are other factors that should help you determine your separation date. One of those is the issue of annual leave – or, more to the point, the lump sum payment that will be due for unused annual leave. Obviously, you want to receive the largest lump sum possible for your use-or-lose annual leave.

When you leave federal employment, you will receive a payment for unused annual leave, so long as you separate before the “end of leave year”. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the end of the leave year does not necessarily fall on December 31, nor does it fall on the same day each year! Check out this breakdown of upcoming end of leave year dates to see what we mean:

  • For the leave year of 2017, the last day falls on January 6, 2018
  • For the leave year of 2018, the last day falls on January 5, 2019
  • For the leave year of 2019, the last day falls on January 4, 2020
  • For the leave year of 2020, the last day falls on January 3, 2021

Okay, so that’s a bit confusing, but all you really need to do is:

  • Remember that payment of unused annual leave is a factor in timing your retirement, and
  • Check the calendar, or keep in touch with us (preferably both) when deciding upon your separation date

Of course, if you always use every bit of your annual leave each year, this factor probably won’t matter to you. But for everyone else, keeping these dates in mind can help you maximize that payout.

As always, schedule regular appointments with us, and we’ll help you stay on top of all issues that might impact your final retirement date.