Unused, unpaid sick leave may be added to your credited service and used in your pension benefit calculation if your employer has chosen to offer the optional sick leave benefit provided by Section 341(j) of the Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL).
To be eligible for this benefit, you must retire directly from public service or within a year of separating from service.
For most members, the maximum number of sick leave days allowable is 165. The additional credit is determined by dividing your total unused, unpaid sick leave days by 260.
Check with your employer to see if they offer this benefit. If you are eligible for this benefit, you will also see “Sick Leave Eligibility: Yes” listed in your Retirement Online account.
Credit for your unused sick leave at retirement cannot be used 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 calculation will improve substantially with 20 years of service credit, but you only have 19½, your sick leave credit can’t be used to reach the 20-year calculation.
- 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.