Section 341(j) of the Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL) provides an optional sick leave benefit. If your employer has chosen to offer this benefit, you may receive service credit for your unused, unpaid sick leave at retirement. To be eligible, you must retire directly from public employment or within a year after separating from service. Contact your employer to determine whether this benefit is available to you.
Your years of additional credit are determined by dividing your total unused, unpaid sick leave days (capped at 165 for most members) by 260.
You can’t use credit for your unused sick leave at retirement to:
- Qualify for vesting. For example, if you need five years of service credit to be vested, and you’re two months short, your sick leave credit can’t make up the difference.
- Qualify for a better retirement benefit calculation. For example, if your pension will improve substantially with 20 years of service credit, but you only have 19½, your sick leave credit can’t make up the difference.
- Increase your pension beyond the maximum amount payable under your retirement plan.
- Meet the service credit requirement to retire under a special 20- or 25-year plan.