Unused Sick Leave FAQs

Dec 18, 2023, 11:58 AM
Doctor with piggy bank

We understand that you may have questions about unused sick leave upon retirement. Let’s break down the basics of sick leave.

Q: Does my accumulated unused sick leave count toward my credited service when I retire?

A: 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 will be 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.

If you use sick leave near your retirement date, it may change previous benefit estimate amounts you have received. It is important to pay attention to the amount of your sick leave hours as you get closer to retirement.

Q: I am in MSEP 2011. Will my unused sick leave apply towards service at the time of retirement or upon leaving state employment once vested?

A: 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. If you remain employed until you reach early or normal retirement eligibility, you will receive one month of credited service for every 168 hours of 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.

Q: Will sick leave affect my BackDROP?

A: If you are eligible for and elect BackDROP, 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.

Q: I worked for several different state agencies. What sick leave will MOSERS use at retirement?

A: MOSERS can only use the final sick leave balance reported to us by your final employing agency. If you transferred between agencies, you would need to speak with those agencies to determine how and if your sick leave can transfer between them.

Q: What about my annual leave?

A: 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 employer’s guidelines for annual and sick leave accrual and usage well in advance of your retirement date.

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