Reps. James Moran, D-Va., and Frank Wolf, R-Va., just reintroduced a bill that would allow employees under the Federal Employees Retirement System to count unused sick leave as time toward their annuities.
The sponsors of theÂ FERS Sick Leave Equity Act,Â whichÂ has not yet been assigned a number, say it will save the government $68 million per year by cutting down on employees’Â lost productivity. Because FERS employees currentlyÂ lose all of their sick leave credit when they leave the government, Moran said many start to suffer from the so-called “FERS flu” as they near retirement:
FERS’ use it or lose it system for sick leave hampers productivity and increases training costs. We need to be incentivizing the accrual of sick leave, not encouraging employees to call in sick in the weeks leading up to retirement.
Congress added an identical benefit for employees under the old Civil Service Retirement System in 1969.
Moran’s office is still trying to line up senators to sponsor their own version of this bill, spokesman Austin Durrer said. A lack of Senate support doomed Moran’s bill last year — it passed the House in July as part of a tobacco bill, but the Senate version contained no such provision.