Special Leave Accrual (SLA) and Use/Lose Leave Balances

The information on this page is intended to help you understand what SLA is.

What is SLA?
Normally a member may not carry forward a leave balance of more than 60 days into a new fiscal year. SLA is an exception to that rule. Under certain circumstances, members may be authorized to carry forward more than 60 days. For more information regarding rules governing the SLA, please click here and read Section 350202.   
Effective January 1, 2023: SLA maximum leave CAP is being reduced from 120 to 90 days, and members will have 2 fiscal years (vice three) to use the excess leave above 60 days. The end of fiscal year 2023 (September 30, 2023) is the first point at which the 90 days will apply. Service members who had a current SLA balance over 60 days will fall into one of two categories, which is determined by their overall SLA leave balance as of December 31, 2022.
Category 1: Service members who have SLA leave balance of 90 days or below on December 31, 2022.

  • Will have a new SLA cap of 90 days applied to their SLA leave balances in FY23.
  • Any excess leave above 90 days will be forfeited by September 30, 2023.
Category 2: Service members who have SLA leave balance of 90.5 days or above on December 31, 2022.
  • Normal 120 day cap applies
  • Members’ original SLA expiration date will stay the same.
  • When member’s balance decreases to 90 days or below, between FY23 to FY26, the member will be moved to category 1, and the 90 day cap applied going forward.
How to determine if you qualify for SLA off of your Leave and Earning Statement (LES)
  1. On the bottom in the Remarks Section, if you qualify for SLA regardless of your circumstance, there will be a remark that reads “PROTECTED SPECIAL LEAVE ACCRUAL BALANCE = XX.X Expires DD MMM YYYY”.
    1. The Protected Special Leave Accrual is your allowable leave carryover balance.
    2. The remark also includes the expiration date of your SLA. 
  2. Your “Use/Lose” balance field on the LES is now:
    1. Any normal leave set to expire by September 30 of the current year.

One-Time Leave Payment. An enlisted member of the Armed Forces who would lose accumulated leave in excess of the 90 days may elect to be paid a lump sum payment of up to 30 days of forfeited leave. This election can only be taken once during a career. This leave payment does apply against the 60 days of leave paid during a career.


Page updated August 3, 2023