2023 Federal Employee Leave Calendar: Maximize Your Valuable Time (2023)

When I first started as a federal employee, I remember each January our front desk would be stocked with leave calendars or leave records. (I’d have never guessed that in 2023 I’d be making my own federal employee leave calendar) These calendars were shipped to our office by GEICO every year. (Did you know that GEICO stands for “Government Employee Insurance Company”?) Apparently, GEICO thought it was good advertising to supply feds with these free calendars for employees to track and plan annual and sick leave.

Get Gov Worker’s 2023 Federal Employee Leave Calendar!

Table of Contents

  • Why you need the 2023 federal employee leave calendar
    • Planning out my use-or-lose leave
    • Federal holidays
    • Sick leave balance
  • Why 2023 is a special leave year
  • How to use the 2023 federal employee leave calendar
  • How can I get my copy of the 2023 federal employee leave calendar?
    • Still need a 2022 federal employee leave calendar?

Eventually, GEICO replaced these calendars with Excel spreadsheets. As a spreadsheet geek, I loved planning out my leave and having it automatically calculate all my use or lose leave. Unfortunately, GEICO stopped supporting their federal employee leave record. Each winter, I now manually update all of the federal pay period calendar information into my spreadsheet so I can track my leave for the next year.

This year, I thought it’d be fun to share my 2023 federal employee leave calendar with you. Hopefully, some of you remember the leave record from the “good ole’ days”. But if not, I’ll walk you through the calendar, how it works, and special features.

Why you need the 2023 federal employee leave calendar

I love my leave calendar and check it daily. I look at the spreadsheet and put the hours in daily. Since my workplace uses a “Maxiflex” schedule, I often work a different number of hours each day. Using the spreadsheet allows me to calculate how many hours I have left to work each pay period. Technically I could log into our paycheck program each day to do this, but it’s much easier to just open a Google Sheet.

Planning out my use-or-lose leave

As someone with over 20 years of government service, I get 8 hours of leave a pay period. I also roll over 240 hours of leave each year as part of my emergency fund. As a result I “have to” use 208 hours of vacation time each year.

At the beginning of the year, I go through and mark off all of the school holidays when I need to take off work for childcare. Then I try to figure out the best time to take the remainder of my leave. It’s especially helpful at the end of the year when I need to submit an official request to have my use-or-lose scheduled. I honestly have no idea how I’d handle this without a spreadsheet.

Read More: Parental Leave for Federal Employees

Federal holidays

The 2023 federal leave calendar is also fantastic for figuring how when the federal holidays are. I’ve marked this with a red “H” square. (Just as it used to be on the GEICO sheet for those of you who can remember back that far).

(Video) The Best Days to Retire in 2023 as a FERS Federal Employee

Don’t forget that in 2021 we had another holiday (Juneteenth) added to our list of paid holidays. This 2023 federal leave calendar has the holiday added for you so you don’t even need to worry about which day is the official paid day off.

Sick leave balance

After 19.5 years of federal service, I’ve built up quite a few hours of sick leave. I feel confident that I have enough of a bank to weather a major health crisis and don’t really think about the balance that much. However, sick leave can be valuable if you do make it to your Minimum Retirement Age. Your sick leave balance is counted as extra creditable service.

If you want to know the size of the impact, I built a calculator to help you estimate how unused sick leave will affect your pension.

Read More: Bereavement Leave for Federal Employees

Why 2023 is a special leave year

You may know that OPM calculates salary and benefits using a work year with 2087 years instead of 2080 years as most common employers do. That means that once every 11 years or so, there is a “year” with 27 pay periods.

Confused? This Fact Sheet from OPM walks you through the leave years. It includes the last date to schedule use or lose leave and the last day to use your leave.

How to use the 2023 federal employee leave calendar

If you’ve never used this magical calendar before, I’m here to walk you through it!

(Video) FERS Retirement Benefits 2023: What Federal Employees Need to Know

The first step is to copy over your leave balances from the end of 2022. These go into the highlighted cells in row 8. I’ve pre-populated the amount of earned leave for people with between 3-15 hours of service. If you are a new or seasoned employee, you’ll need to copy in different values into these cells.

Each row in the spreadsheet represents one pay period. The starting and ending dates are in column B. (Note- pay periods start on Sundays and end on Mondays- slightly confusing since most people work Monday-Friday).

You can then enter notes in each cell. For instance if you used 2 hours of sick leave to go to the dentist on Tuesday January 5th, you’d put “S2” in cell E10. These cells are for your own notes and aren’t in any formulas.

To track your leave, you need to also enter a “2” under the sick leave used column (U10). Columns Q-AB contain formulas to calculate your leave.

2023 Federal Employee Leave Calendar: Maximize Your Valuable Time (2)

To find your end of the year leave balances, go to the row that corresponds with the last pay period. Importantly, for Annual Leave, I’ve included a formula in cell S36 that shows whether or not you have use or lose leave to burn before the end of the year.

(Video) How Do Unused Annual Leave and Sick Leave Impact Federal Retirement?

How can I get my copy of the 2023 federal employee leave calendar?

That’s easy! Just subscribe to my mailing list through the button below. I promise not to spam you or sell your information. (I’d have no idea how to do that if I tried). Once subscribed, look for the welcome email. It will have a link to the Google Sheet so you can start tracking your own leave.

Get Gov Worker’s 2023 Federal Employee Leave Calendar!

Still need a 2022 federal employee leave calendar?

Don’t worry, the Google Sheet you download has all previous years I’ve built going back to 2021. So clicking on the download link will give you the 2022 federal employee leave calendar as well.

2023 Federal Employee Leave Calendar: Maximize Your Valuable Time (3)


Sam i.e. "Gov Worker" started working for the government at age 18 and loved it so much that he never left. He started GovernmentWorkerFI in 2019 to help fellow federal employees understand their benefits, take control of their finances, and live their best lives.

(Video) PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb. 7, 2023

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Will there be 27 pay periods in 2023? ›

According to 5 C.F.R. 950.701, payroll deductions will begin with the first pay period after January 15, 2023 (PP 2023-04), and end with the last pay period that includes January 15 of the following year (PP 2024-03) for 26 pay periods.

Will federal employees get a raise in 2023? ›

Late last month, President Biden issued an executive order formalizing an average 4.6% pay increase for civilian federal workers in 2023. The raise is split between a 4.1% across-the-board increase in basic pay and a 0.5% boost to locality pay.

What is the general schedule increase for 2023? ›

General Schedule (GS) employees will receive a raise of 4.1 percent across-the-board in 2023, and a 0.5 percent locality adjustment. The 4.6 percent raise is the largest single-year pay boost for federal employees since 2002. Workers will receive higher paychecks starting the first pay period in January 2023.

What months will we get an extra paycheck in 2023? ›

If your first paycheck in 2023 is Friday, Jan. 6, your three-paycheck months will be March and September. If your first paycheck in 2023 is Friday, Jan. 13, your three-paycheck months will be June and December.

How many pay periods will there be in 2023? ›

Employees receive 26 paychecks per year with a biweekly pay schedule. Depending on the calendar year, there are sometimes 27 pay periods, which can increase payroll costs.

Will the GS pay scale increase in 2023? ›

New for the 2023 GS Pay Scales

The White House announced their proposal for a 4.1% average increase in Federal wages, along with a 0.5% increase for locality pay, for a 4.6% total average increase. This is the largest pay raise for Federal employees in 20 years.

What is the COLA for federal employees in 2023? ›

The above means that for the 2023 COLA, federal retirees under FERS will get a 7.7% COLA added to their annuity payments, assuming they are eligible to receive the full 2023 COLA.

Is GS 12 a high position? ›

The GS-1 through GS-7 range generally marks entry-level positions, while mid-level positions are in the GS-8 to GS-12 range and top-level positions (senior managers, high-level technical specialists, or physicians) are in the GS-13 to GS-15 range.

What will the COLA increase be for 2023? ›

Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will increase by 8.7% in 2023. This is the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) required by law. The increase will begin with benefits that Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2023.

What is the federal raise for 2024? ›

“The 8.7% pay increase included in the FAIR Act will not only reward federal employees' hard work and help them keep pace with inflation, but it will also help government agencies remain competitive and deliver high-quality services to the American public. We wholeheartedly endorse this bill.”

How many years do you have to work for the federal government to get a pension? ›

You must work at least 5 years with the Federal Government before you are eligible for a FERS Federal Pension, and for every year you work, you will be eligible for at least 1% of your High-3 Average Salary History. Automatic deductions that can range from .

How many years of federal service do you get for 6 hours of leave? ›

An employee with less than 3 years of service earns 4 hours of annual leave each pay period (104 hours per leave year). An employee with 3 to 15 years of service earns 6 hours each pay period except for the last pay period in the calendar year when 10 hours of annual leave is earned (160 hours per leave year).

Do federal employees get paid for unused annual leave? ›

Entitlement. An employee will receive a lump-sum payment for any unused annual leave when he or she separates from Federal service or enters on active duty in the armed forces and elects to receive a lump-sum payment.

What months have 5 weeks in 2023? ›

2023: March, June, September, December.

How many biweekly pays in 2023? ›

How many pay periods in a biweekly year 2023? In 2023, if you will be managing a traditional biweekly pay schedule, those who are paid biweekly will receive 26 paychecks. Employees will receive two paychecks in 10 of the 12 months and three in two of the months.

What are the three paycheck months for 2023 Thursday? ›

2023 Three Paycheck Months

If your first paycheck of 2023 is Friday, January 6, your three paycheck months are March and September. If your first paycheck of 2023 is Friday, January 13, your three paycheck months are June and December.

Can there be 53 pay periods in a year? ›

If you run the payroll weekly, you could have 53 pay periods in one year even when it isn't a leap year. The number of pay periods depends on which specific day of the week you pay employees.

What happens when there are 27 pay periods in a year? ›

For years with 27 pay periods, this will calculate the employee's per pay check salary based on 27 instead of 26 pay periods. Employees will still receive a pay check every pay period but each check will be for slightly less so they do not get paid more than their yearly salary.

How many work hours in a year is 2023? ›

In 2023, there are 260 working days, totaling 2,080 working hours.

Can GS 11 be promoted to GS 13? ›

etc.). After one year at the GS-11 grade level, Fellows are generally minimally eligible for promotion to GS-12. GS-13: After one year at the GS-12 grade level, Fellows are generally minimally eligible for promotion to GS-13.

What is the highest GS Level pay? ›

Starting salary for a GS-15 employee is $112,890.00 per year at Step 1, with a maximum possible base pay of $146,757.00 per year at Step 10.

Can you negotiate GS steps? ›

Under the government pay system, it can be difficult to negotiate a higher GS level—as the pay grades are called under the government's General Schedule—than the one listed in the job description. But each grade has 10 steps that come with a higher salary and career advancement, and those step levels are more flexible.

How do you get the $16728 Social Security bonus? ›

Who is eligible for Social Security bonus? For every year that you delay claiming past full retirement age, your monthly benefits will get an 8% “bonus.” That amounts to a whopping 24% if you wait to file until age 70.

What is the earnings limit for FERS supplement in 2023? ›

The earnings limit for people reaching their full retirement age in 2023 will increase to $56,520. For every $3 earned over this limit, Social Security will deduct $1 from benefits.

What military rank is a GS-12 equivalent to? ›

Pay grades GS-10, 11 and 12 are roughly equivalent to a first lieutenant or captain in the army, or to lieutenants and lieutenant-commanders in the navy.

What army rank is a GS-12 equivalent to? ›

Military and Civilian Pay Grades
Military GradeRankCivilian Grade
O-4Lieutenant CommanderGS-12
O-2Lieutenant Junior GradeGS-7/9
13 more rows

What is GS to military equivalent? ›

Using your military rank

GS-1 through GS-4 is equivalent the rank E-1 through E-4. A GS-5 position would equate to E-5 or E-6, depending on the position. GS-6 then compares to E-7, GS-7 to E-8, and GS-8 to E-9. Above GS-8 begins incorporating the knowledge and experience of officer classes.

Can I collect my deceased spouse's Social Security and my own at the same time? ›

Social Security will not combine a late spouse's benefit and your own and pay you both. When you are eligible for two benefits, such as a survivor benefit and a retirement payment, Social Security doesn't add them together but rather pays you the higher of the two amounts.

At what age can you earn unlimited income on Social Security? ›

later, then your full retirement age for retirement insurance benefits is 67. If you work, and are at full retirement age or older, you may keep all of your benefits, no matter how much you earn.

What is the average Social Security check? ›

Keep reading to find out more. For those who are collecting Social Security at age 65, the average payment in 2022 is about $2,484 a month, according to the Social Security Administration. That's based on the agency's estimate that the average annual benefit is $29,806 for Social Security recipients who are age 65.

What will the federal minimum wage be in 2023? ›

Applicable to all employees covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) except for agricultural employees and employees of municipalities and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $9.50 per hour on July 1, 2023.

At what age do most federal employees retire? ›

Under FERS, an employee who meets one of the following age and service requirements is entitled to an immediate retirement benefit: age 62 with five years of service, 60 with 20, minimum retirement age (MRA) with 30 or MRA with 10 (but with reduced benefits).

How many years is a full pension? ›

You need 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions to get the full amount. You'll still get something if you have at least 1 qualifying year, but it'll be less than the full amount. You might qualify for an Additional State Pension, depending on your contributions.

What is the best month to retire from the federal government? ›

One FERS date, June 30, is not only at the end of the month, but also the end of a leave period. This is a particularly good date, because it allows for one last accumulation of annual leave to create a larger lump sum payout.

Can I retire after 10 years of federal service? ›

The FERS requirements are a bit more complicated, you must meet one of the following criteria: Minimum retirement age (55 to 57, depending on your year of birth) with 10 or more years of creditable service.

What is the 5 year rule for federal employees? ›

To be vested (eligible to receive your retirement benefits from the Basic Benefit plan if you leave Federal service before retiring), you must have at least 5 years of creditable civilian service. Survivor and disability benefits are available after 18 months of civilian service.

What happens to my annual leave if I don't use it? ›

When employment ends, employers have to pay their employee for any unused annual leave they've accumulated during their employment. The annual leave payment has to be the same amount that the employee would have received if they'd taken the annual leave during their employment.

How much annual leave can a federal employee cash out at retirement? ›

Many federal employees become sparing in their use of annual leave later in their careers so that they can get maximum benefit from those payouts. While generally the maximum that can be carried from one leave year to the next is 240 hours (30 days) there is no limit on how many hours can be cashed in.

Is it better to take annual leave or get paid out? ›

Another advantage of taking leave rather than cashing out as a lump sum is that usually your employer will continue to pay the normal superannuation % on that leave when it is taken as a regular leave payment. This is contrasted to taking the lump sum no super guarantee % is applied to a lump sum of leave paid out.

What years will have 27 pay periods? ›

The number of pay weeks in a year is normally fixed when it comes to biweekly or weekly paychecks. However, in some years, such as 2021, there are 27 biweekly pay periods. This is because January first was a Friday, resulting in a total of 53 Fridays in 2021.

What are the biweekly pay periods for 2023? ›

In 2023, if you will be managing a traditional biweekly pay schedule, those who are paid biweekly will receive 26 paychecks. Employees will receive two paychecks in 10 of the 12 months and three in two of the months.

How many three paycheck months in 2023? ›

2023 Three Paycheck Months

If your first paycheck of 2023 is Friday, January 6, your three paycheck months are March and September. If your first paycheck of 2023 is Friday, January 13, your three paycheck months are June and December.

Are there 26 or 27 pay periods in 2022? ›

In some years, a biweekly payroll frequency will result in 27 paychecks. However, in 2022, the number of biweekly paychecks will be 26.

How many paychecks in 2024? ›

There are a total of 262 working days in the 2024 calendar year.
Payroll Services.
Time PeriodNumber of Working Days
December 1-3122
Total 2024 Calendar Year Working Days262
11 more rows

What year is 53 week payroll? ›

If you multiply 7 days times the 52 weeks in a year, you get 364 days. That means that each year, one day of the week occurs 53 times instead of 52. If your payday falls on one of these "extra" days in the calendar year, you could have 53 weekly pay periods instead of 52, or 27 biweekly pay periods instead of 26.

What are the 5 week months in 2023? ›

2023: March, June, September, December. 2024: March, May, August, November. 2025: January, May, August, October. 2026: January, May, July, October.

How does getting paid on the 15th and 30th work? ›

Semimonthly means that you pay employees two times per month on specific dates (e.g., the 15th and 30th of the month). So if you hear the phrase “bimonthly payroll,” someone might be combining biweekly and semimonthly pay schedules.

Do 3 paycheck months make a difference? ›

Though your annual salary remains the same, your take-home income changes with the third paycheck. Those extra funds will help you get out of debt faster and save you money in interest and fees down the road.

How can I save my third paycheck? ›

Here are five smart ways Cheng says her clients spend or save their money when it's a three-paycheck month.
  1. Start saving and investing today with Acorns.
  2. Schedule an extra mortgage payment. ...
  3. Pay down debt. ...
  4. Boost retirement contributions. ...
  5. Make home improvements. ...
  6. Budget for a vacation or other 'fun'
Aug 25, 2022

What is the difference between 24 and 26 pay periods? ›

Number of paychecks per year

Employees who are paid semimonthly always receive two paychecks per month. Companies that run payroll with a biweekly frequency dole out a total of 26 paychecks per year. Companies that use semimonthly pay give employees 24 paychecks per year.

How many semi monthly pay periods in 2023? ›

A semimonthly payment schedule is where you pay workers twice a month on specific pay dates—usually on the 1st and the 15th or on the 15th and the last day of the month. That means employees get 24 paychecks every year.

What is the maximum leave carryover for OPM? ›

Under current statute, most federal employees can carry up to 240 hours, or 30 days of leave, though some can accrue more. Employees must usually forfeit any accrued leave that exceeds the statutory limit.

How many years with 27 biweekly pay periods? ›

This creates a situation where every 11 years, employers who pay on a biweekly schedule will see 27 payrolls in a single year.


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