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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

Is an employee required to pay back a lump-sum payment for annual leave when he or she is reemployed in the Federal Government?

Yes. Under 5 U.S.C. 6306, when an individual who received a lump-sum payment for accumulated and accrued annual leave under 5 U.S.C. 5551 is reemployed in the Federal service before the end of the period covered by the lump-sum payment, he or she must refund to the employing agency an amount equal to the pay covering the period between the date of reemployment and the expiration of the lump-sum period. The refund is deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the employing agency. The refund is based on the rate of pay used to compute the lump-sum payment; e.g., an employee who received a lump-sum payment based on a GS-7 special salary rate must refund the lump-sum payment based on that same pay rate, even if he or she is reemployed at a lower grade level that is not covered by special salary rates.

When an individual is reemployed in the Federal service in a position covered by the Federal leave system under 5 U.S.C. 6301(2), an amount of annual leave equal to the leave represented by the refund is recredited to the employee by the employing agency. When an individual is reemployed in the Federal service in a position not covered under 5 U.S.C. 6301(2), but is covered by a formal leave system, the amount of annual leave to be recredited to the employee will be determined using the rule for recrediting annual leave in 5 CFR 630.501(b).

Individuals who are reemployed in a position excepted from the Federal leave system by 5 U.S.C. 6301(2)(ii), (iii), (vi), or (vii) are not required to refund a lump-sum payment. Individuals who are reemployed in the Federal service after expiration of the lump-sum period and individuals who are reemployed in the Federal service in a position that does not have a formal leave system in which the employee's annual leave may be recredited are not required to refund the lump-sum payment. Individuals who are reemployed in a position excepted from the Federal leave system by 5 U.S.C. 6301(2)(x)-(xiii) must refund the lump-sum payment, and the annual leave will be held in abeyance until the employee transfers to a position in which the annual leave may be recredited or the employee later becomes eligible for a lump-sum payment.

A number of Comptroller General opinions on lump-sum payments may be found in the Civilian Personnel Law Manual, Title II--Leave, chapter 3, Lump-Sum Leave Payments.

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