# How much is your sick leave worth?

Earlier this year, Government Executive Retirement Planning columnist Tammy Flanagan of the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc. provided details on a newly enacted provision allowing those covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System to get credit for unused sick leave toward their basic retirement benefits.

Under the new law, FERS employees get credit for 50 percent of their sick leave if they retire before Jan. 1, 2014. After that they get credit for all their sick leave.

Each month of additional service is credited according to the following formula:

1/12 x 1% x high-three average salary

Or, if the employee retires at 62 or later with 20 years of creditable service: 1/12 x 1.1% x high-three average salary

So if an employee's high-three was \$65,000 and he had 10 months of sick leave, his credit would be figured as follows: 10/12 x 1% x \$65,000 = \$541.45/year, or about \$45 a month.

If the benefit was computed using the 1.1% factor, then the credit would be \$595.59 per year, or a little more than \$49 a month.

So, just how much is the benefit worth to you? A Retirement Planning reader who prefers to be known only as "Dave P." has developed a simple yet effective Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to do the calculation. Just launch the spreadsheet using the link below, input your information, and it figures the value of the benefit to your retirement each month, each year, over 10 years and over 30 years.

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