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Advanced Annual Leave

Fact Sheet: Advanced Annual Leave

Agency Discretion

At its discretion, an agency may advance annual leave to an employee in an amount not to exceed the amount the employee would accrue within the leave year. An agency should not advance annual leave to an employee when it is known (or reasonably expected) that the employee will not return to duty, e.g., when the employee has applied for disability retirement. Before granting advanced annual leave, it is recommended that the approving authority consider such matters as the expectation of return to duty, the need for the employee's services, and the benefits to the agency of retaining the employee.

Liquidation of Advanced Annual Leave

Advanced annual leave may be liquidated by subsequently earned annual leave or by a refund upon separation from Federal service. With the consent of the agency, an employee may arrange to refund advanced annual leave in cash if mutually agreeable and administratively feasible. (The pay rate applicable to refund is that rate which was in effect at the time the advanced annual leave was taken.)

When an employee who is indebted for advanced annual leave transfers to another Federal agency without a break in service, the agency from which the employee transfers must certify the employee's annual leave account to the new agency for charge. Agencies may not require an employee to refund the amount of the advanced annual leave in order to achieve a "zero" balance at the time of transfer. In such cases, a negative annual leave balance should be transferred to the employee's new agency.

When an employee who is indebted for advanced annual leave separates from Federal service, he or she is required to refund the amount of advanced leave or the agency may deduct that amount from any pay due the employee upon separation. However, if the employees dies, retires for disability, or is separated or resigns because of disability, the requirement to repay does not apply. The agency makes the determination as to whether an employee has separated or resigned because of disability.

An employee who enters active military service with a right to restoration is not considered as having separated and is not required to refund the amount of advanced annual leave when entering military service. The advanced annual leave should be liquidated either after the employee returns to duty or is separated from Federal service.

Other Available Leave Options and Work Schedule Flexibilities

The Federal Government offers a wide range of leave options and workplace flexibilities to assist an employee who needs to be away from the workplace. These flexibilities include annual leave, sick leave, advanced annual leave or advanced sick leave, leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), donated leave under the voluntary leave transfer program, leave without pay, alternative work schedules, credit hours under flexible work schedules, compensatory time off and telework. Agencies may also have a voluntary leave bank program.


  • 5 U.S.C. 6302(d)
  • 5 CFR 630.209
  • 5 CFR 630.501
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