Unused Sick Leave Credit at Retirement

How Is My Unused Sick Leave Used at Retirement?

At retirement, TRS members can establish credit for unused sick leave earned with current and previous employers. Based on Georgia law, a member can receive credit for unused sick leave at retirement only if he or she has not received payment of any kind for the leave. This law has been communicated and practiced by TRS since July 1, 1998 when sick leave credit was first enacted into law.

Attendance incentives of any amount paid at any point during employment can reduce unused sick leave days reported to TRS for service credit. Programs that offer multiple payment amounts based on the number of sick days will reduce sick leave days reported to TRS. Payments based on any attendance incentive program offered through your school system that are not based on any variable number of sick leave days, are allowed and the number of unused sick leave days reported to TRS would not be affected. If you have any questions or would like someone at TRS to review your attendance incentive policy to ensure compliance with Georgia law, please contact TRS.

Sick leave credit is added to your total creditable service at the time of your retirement and cannot be used to attain a vested status. Credit for unused sick leave can be used to attain 25 years of service for an early retirement or 30 years for a normal retirement. Total creditable service used to calculate a retirement benefit cannot exceed 40 years.

Sick Leave Credit:

  • Is granted at the rate of one-month credit for each 20 days of unused sick time. (A different rate applied if you retired between 7/1/98 and 6/30/99).
  • Can be established only at your retirement, and only for Georgia teaching service.
  • Can be established only if you have at least 60 days of unused sick time.
  • Can be established only for those retiring on or after July 1, 1998.
  • Cannot be used for vesting (you must have at least 10 years of service excluding your sick leave credit).
  • Is subject to a cap of 1¼ days per month of service.
  • Will not be calculated until all your sick leave certification forms are received by TRS. Your last employer’s form cannot be submitted before your last day of work.