How much would be paid for unused sick leave is not yet clear. But federal managers hope the change will keep employees from taking excessive sick leave as they approach retirement. Such sick leave abuse cost the government $68 million in lost productivity in the year ended March 30, 2006, an August Congressional Research Service report says. Moran said he hopes to introduce a bill by Thanksgiving that would pay FERS retirees for some percentage of their unused sick leave. One favored option, according to Moran’s staff, would pay 10 percent of the hourly rate of a retiree’s high-three salary — the average of the employee’s highest salaries over three consecutive years — for any accumulated sick leave balance above 500 hours.