Let’s Talk about Sick Leave
We understand that there is often confusion regarding unused sick leave upon retirement. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Let’s break down the basics of sick leave.
Will it affect my future benefit payment?
It is important to know that your monthly pension benefit from MOSERS will be based on your final average pay and your credited service. This can include unused sick leave.
Unused sick leave does NOT count towards service for retirement ELIGIBILITY. In other words, it will not make you eligible for retirement sooner than you would have been without it. You must meet both the age and service requirements – not counting unused sick leave – to be eligible to retire.
However, as a part of your retirement benefit calculation, each block of 168 hours of unused sick leave is converted into one month of service credit to be used in your pension benefit calculation. This will increase the amount of your benefit payment every month in retirement.
Please note that there is no partial credit; any amount less than 168 hours will be equal to zero additional months of credited service.
There are some specific situations in which unused sick leave doesn’t count:
- MSEP 2011 members: If you left state employment after January 1, 2018, and prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for unused sick leave.
- MSEP retirees: If you leave state employment prior to being eligible for early or normal retirement, you will get no service credit for your unused sick leave.
- Legislators, statewide elected officials, and judges: You do not accrue sick leave.
If you use sick leave near your retirement date, it may affect previous benefit estimates you have received. It is important to pay attention to the amount of your sick leave hours as you get closer to retirement.
Will it affect my BackDROP?
If you are eligible for BackDROP and elect to take it, you will receive credit for unused sick leave accrued during your BackDROP period. It will not make you eligible for retirement (or BackDROP) sooner but will increase the amount of your payment once you have retired.
What about my annual leave?
Your unused annual leave/vacation has no impact on your MOSERS pension benefits.
The amount of annual leave that you may get paid for is determined by your agency or university, not by MOSERS. Your agency or university may have a limit on how much they will pay out. Limits may vary from one agency or university to another.
We encourage you to check with your agency’s human resources office about your specific agency’s guidelines for annual and sick leave accrual and usage well in advance of your retirement date. As always, we are here for your benefit. Do not hesitate to contact us!