NTEU Welcomes New Legislation Offering FERS Sick Leave Credit


2/11/09: A House measure introduced yesterday to provide annuity credit for unused sick leave to federal employees covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) would be an important step toward employee equity in the government, said NTEU national President Colleen Kelley.

President said the union is ready to help Congress deliver for FERS-covered employees the same credit for unused sick leave already provided to their Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) colleagues. The bill was introduced by Rep. James Moran (D-Va.).

“I commend Rep. Moran for his leadership in working to put this legislation together on behalf of FERS-covered federal employees,” said President Kelley. “This issue is critically important to NTEU’s membership and I look forward to working with him to help this bill become law.”

FERS covers federal employees who began working in 1984 or later; at present, they earn no credit toward retirement for unused sick leave. This is unlike their counterparts who are covered under the pre-1984 CSRS and receive credit for unused sick leave that goes into the calculation of their retirement annuity.

The bill requires that the unused FERS sick leave be counted toward retirement in the same way it is for CSRS-covered employees. The measure also requires that employees satisfy the age and service requirement for immediate or early retirement under FERS.

“No matter what retirement system covers them, both groups of employees work diligently, and often side-by-side, as dedicated public servants in federal agencies throughout the country,” said President Kelley, noting the measure would benefit not only FERS-covered employees, but their agencies as well. “Both groups deserve to have their sick leave counted towards their retirement benefits.” Last year, NTEU supported similar annuity legislation which was approved by the House.