Holiday entitlement at retirement: This is how it is regulated

The remaining holiday entitlement seems to be not so important shortly before retirement – after all, there will soon be plenty of free time. It is well worth planning and enjoying some benefits.

Whether fresh from school or just before the pension: With a legal protection you are well protected in all circumstances. >>

Date of retirement determines the holiday entitlement

Important for the amount of the vacation entitlement is above all the date of retirement:

  • Is the last working day on June 30 or earlier, there is a pro rata leave entitlement: At retirement in January one twelfth of annual leave, in February, two twelfths in March three twelfths and so on. Half days are rounded up.
  • Is the last working day in the second half of the year (July 1 or later), are entitled to full annual leave.
  • Prerequisite: The employment relationship has existed for more than six months – otherwise it will always be pieced together. The legal basis is § 5 Federal Holiday Act (BUrlG) .
  • If the employer pays vacation pay, also insists claim to the same extent as on holidays. Christmas bonus, however, falls outside this scheme, even if the retirement is in the second half.

From sickness to retirement: Holidays can be forfeited

Even sick leave workers get vacation entitlements. With a long-lasting illness, however, it is difficult to take these vacation days. An unlimited accumulation for later is not possible: Vacation entitlements expire after 15 months at the latest – always on the 31st of March. This regulation applies to normal working life as well as to cases of temporary disability pension and age-related retirement.

What can disabled people do just before retirement? If an employment relationship is terminated – and this is the case at retirement – the employee is entitled to compensation for the leave ; In other words, the holidays that have not been taken will be paid out. This regulation is in § 7 BUrlG. Attention: The compensation claim expires after 15 months! Anyone who is ill for a long time must ask their employer to pay in between and not wait until they retire.

The basis for this regulation is a judgment of the Federal Labor Court (BAG), which in turn is based on the case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) (AZ 9 AZR 353/10).

Darren Baker, Fotolia

Timing: Planning well to get more out of it

Retirement rarely occurs spontaneously, so there is usually enough time in advance to worry about the end of working life. A common solution: the rest of the holidays are taken at the end of the job , so that retirement is felt to start a few weeks earlier. With timely planning, this should not be a big problem from the employer side. The annual holiday planning is also a good time to clarify any misunderstandings, as far as the amount of vacation entitlement is concerned.

Another consideration: Anyone who still works in July is entitled to the full annual leave. If the retirement is in May or June, it may be worthwhile to postpone it for a few weeks and to benefit from additional days off and vacation pay.

Details on leave entitlements for retirement in employment and collective agreements

As so often, agreements can be made in individual contracts that deviate from the legal rule . So it may be, for example, that the employment contract is an immediate retirement Acquisition reduction or the denomination of the leave also in the second half of the year in twelfths provides. The latter, however, is only permitted for holidays that exceed the legal minimum leave.

Collective bargaining agreements also often include special rules on holidays and pensions – for example, in the public service of the Confederation (TVöD) and the Länder (TV-L), denominations are standard in the second half of the year as well.

Therefore, take a look at all important contracts before you confront your former employer with claims – this applies to the vacation entitlement to retirement as well as other disputes in the job.


  • Vacation entitlements also exist in the year of retirement.
  • he number of days depends on the date of retirement. Employment also sometimes plays a role.
  • Residual leave from previous years may expire if you are sick or unable to work for a long time before retirement.
  • Labor and collective agreements may contain special rules.

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