As with many government benefits, your payout amount could change based on certain circumstances. When it comes to your annual leave, you could end up walking away with more than you had originally planned for.

No matter which part of the government you work for, there is one goal every federal employee is working toward: retirement. Along with financial security and some relaxation, there are several benefits to look forward to when you retire, including cashing in your annual leave. Which, for many, can easily become the cherry on top of a retirement sundae.

But how much annual leave do government employees actually qualify for? Well, the answer simply depends on what type of employee you are.

Annual Leave Expectancies for Federal Employees

Postal Service Employees

  • Postal Career Executive Service (PCES): Lump-sum payment of unlimited hours
  • Executive and Administrative Scale (EAS): Lump-sum payment of a maximum of 560 hours, plus any earned and unused time you accrued during your year of retirement
  • Union-contracted: Lump-sum of a maximum of 440 hours

Non-Postal Service Employees

  • Senior Executive Service (SES): Lump-sum payment of a maximum of 720 hours (certain employees may be entitled to an unlimited amount of hours)
  • Employees working in the U.S. and its territories: Can accumulate and carry over a maximum of 240 hours year-to-year
  • Overseas employees: Can accumulate and carry over a maximum of 360 hours year-to-year

As with many government benefits, your payout amount could change based on certain circumstances. When it comes to your annual leave, you could end up walking away with more than you had originally planned for. This can happen if you had planned to take leave time but ultimately weren’t able to for personal- or work-related reasons.

Don’t Bank on Your Annual Leave

Cashing in your annual leave might be a nice ‘bonus’ that comes along with retirement  — especially if you’ve saved up ample time — but you shouldn’t rely on it to carry you over the threshold. While it’s important to calculate how much annual leave you can count on, there are several other steps federal employees need to take when it comes to planning for retirement.

Insight Benefits Counselors is extensively trained on the complexities of federal benefits, including retirement planning. Our effective, three-step process can help you get on the right track towards retirement, and it all starts with a 20-minute phone call.


Contact us to get started with Insight Employee Benefits Counselor today.


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The simplest, least expensive tactic for dealing with potential incapacity is to put some assets in joint ownership, with right of survivorship. For example, you might name a son or daughter as joint owner of your bank account so he/she can pay bills for you, handle deposits, etc. However, there are problems with

Incapacity planning is one of the many steps government employees should take to gain security and peace of mind if something should ever happen to them. Several questions will likely come up during the planning process, including whether to open a joint account to ensure financial security. Although FEDweek mostly outlines the cons of opening a joint bank account, there are also several benefits. All it takes is some careful thought and consideration, including the following steps:

1. Choose someone you trust.

This likely goes without saying, but it’s extremely important that you have a healthy, trusting relationship with the person you are naming as the co-owner of your account. If you’re choosing one of your children, be sure your entire family (including any siblings) are all on board and in agreeance with the plan.

2. Set rules and boundaries.

FEDweek indicates that opening a joint account opens you up to a risk of the co-owner using that money for their benefit or investing it elsewhere. Once you choose someone you trust, set an agreement between yourselves that the money should only be used in the event of a potential incapacity.

3. Plan carefully.

A joint account is just a piece of the puzzle when it comes to estate and incapacity planning. There are several other important documents and plans needed, including:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Power of Attorney
  • Final Arrangements
  • HIPAA Authorization

While there are many common-sense steps to take when it comes to opening a joint account, there are other complex questions that will arise during the planning process -- all of which can become overwhelming. That’s why the experts at Insight Benefits Counselors (IBC) are standing by to help provide the answers and resources you need. From planning for retirement to an individualized benefit analysis, IBC is focused on your future. Get started today!

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Insight Benefit Counselors, LLC. is an independent organization and is not a government agency or affiliated with the federal government.The Federal Government does not favor, endorse, or recommend any commercial company, product, or the views of Insight Benefit Counselors.

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