Employers should notify TRS of all sick leave policies in use for compliance with Georgia law. System policies must be consistent for all employees. For example, the program offered could not be different for your certified and non-certified employees. Payments based on any attendance incentive program that are not based on any variable number of sick leave days are allowable and the number of unused sick leave days reported to TRS would not be affected.
Members should be informed that any usage of sick leave days could impact their lifetime monthly benefit from TRS.
Acceptable Sick Leave Usage
Example 1: Employer pays $200 at the end of the school year if five (5) days or less are used. This is a general attendance policy and is not based on a variable number of unused sick leave days used.
Example 2: Member has 188 days of unused sick leave credit. Member will need 170 days to reach 30 years of service for retirement purposes. The employer wants to pay member for 18 days of unused leave. Member may be paid for 18 days and retain 170 days for TRS retirement credit.
Example 3: Member works for a system that awards more than 1.25 days a month in sick leave credit. TRS will take the total amount of unused sick leave reported and apply a reduction based on the 1.25 day limit. For any excess days over the 1.25 day formula that TRS will not award credit, member can receive payment for those days without any effect on TRS retirement credit.
Example 4: Member works for a system that only allows a member to accrue a maximum of 45 days of unused sick leave credit. Anything in excess of 45 days will be forfeited by the member for system purposes. This does not affect the member’s ability to use those days for TRS retirement credit. At retirement, any forfeited days based on a system’s accrual limits will be counted for retirement credit; however, the 1.25 day rule still applies.
Attendance Incentive Programs
A number of reporting employers offer their employees monetary incentives to encourage good attendance. Some employers offer this incentive or bonus at the end of each school year and/or at the time the employee retires.
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 allowable and the number of unused sick leave days reported to TRS would not be affected.
Programs that offer variable payment amounts based on number of sick days, WILL reduce the number of sick leave days you report to TRS.
Example 1: Employer offers $200 at the end of the school year if no sick days were used; $150 if one sick day was used, $100 if two sick days were used, and no payment if 3 or more sick days were used. If any payment is made using this type of program, then all unused sick leave days remaining for that year of employment cannot be reported to TRS for sick leave credit at retirement.
Example 2: Employer offers $20 per day for every day of unused sick leave. For every $20 paid, the system would have to reduce the unused sick days by one day and report the balance to TRS.