Transition Leave Overview

Military leave of absence is governed by Document AR 600-8-10 (Leave and Pass Administrative Absences). Transition leave is ordinary leave chargeable to a servicemember’s accrued leave account and granted, together with transition from the service, to include retirement.

The leave you have accrued through your retirement date may be sold (limit of 60 days per career), used as transition leave, or split between these two options. You must decide what is best for you. Because it is difficult to cancel an approved retirement, it is best to decide your course of action before submitting a retirement request. The following factors may affect your decision:

• You must retire on the 1st day of a month unless you retire for disability.
• Each day of leave can be sold back for basic pay only.
• Accrued leave paid in a lump sum is automatically taxed at the 25 percent rate.
• Servicemembers are not permitted to begin employment while in permissive temporary duty (PTDY) status.
• Servicemembers MAY work while on transition leave, even for the federal government.

Soldiers retiring for disability may have their retirement dates adjusted to allow using any transition leave they are unable to sell back due to the 60-day limit.

After 20 years of service, each additional month you serve on active duty provides an additional retired pay multiplier of 1/12th of 2-1/2 percent for those under the Final Basic Pay or High-3 formulas, or 1/12th of 3.5 percent, for those under CSB/REDUX.

The purpose of transition leave is to allow soldiers to participate in pre-separation job searches and house hunting activities that facilitate relocation or transition of the servicemember to civilian life.

Servicemembers must have a need to relocate or conduct job search activities during the requested transition leave. If neither of these activities are necessary (for example, the servicemember already has secured a job and will continue to reside in the same residence with no prospect of moving) then transition leave is not appropriate.

With your commander’s approval, you may receive 20 or 30 days of PTDY (based on your geographical location) to conduct job search and house-hunting activities. PTDY is a non-chargeable leave granted in addition to any authorized ordinary leave. Transition PTDY may be used in increments (not to exceed days authorized); may be taken in a series of trips in conjunction with transition leave (must have a duty day between transition leave and PTDY); or may be taken in its entirety, in conjunction with transition leave (e.g., a servicemember elects to take transition PTDY, with full 20/30 days as one trip; starting transition leave on the next day).

Servicemembers may not carry forward more than 60 days of leave into the next fiscal year (FY). Any leave accumulated in excess of 60 days is lost at the end of the FY unless it was accumulated when entitled to Special Leave Accrual (SLA).

Under SLA authority, a maximum of 90 days of leave (60 days ordinary leave plus 30 days SLA) can be carried forward. For practical purposes, only leave accumulated before deployment, plus leave earned during deployment, is protected by SLA. Leave earned after deployment is not protected. The actual leave balance carried forward into succeeding fiscal years is the lowest monthly leave balance after completion of SLA duty. Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs) show SLA days in the remarks section. Except under sell-back provisions, SLA days cannot be sold.

Servicemembers must plan accordingly to avoid losing leave before separation from the service.

SLA Sell Back is an additional one-time option for accrued leave authorized for enlistees only (does not apply to officers). Under this provision, an enlistee may elect a one-time leave sell back of up to 30 days leave accrued in excess of the 90-day SLA limitation. SLA Sell Back counts against the 60-day leave sell-back limitation during a servicemember’s career.