Lump-sum payment of leave


Q. If the lump-sum payment is considered earned income for tax purposes but is not eligible to Thrift Savings Plan deferral nor does it serve as the base for automatic agency contributions, wouldn’t it make better sense not to cash in the leave? Rather, wouldn’t it be more lucrative to continue working, take the earned vacation over the year, collect matching funds for TSP, matching funds for health insurance, and on top of that, continue to accrue more annual leave, more sick leave, and enjoy the vacation time off?  I understand no supervisor/manager would approve a single vacation of 5+ weeks, but spreading a vacation out over a period of time can’t be denied.

A. Yes, financially, it would be better.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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