Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

LEO and special retirement supplement

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Q. I am in FERS in a law enforcement officer position. I was born in 1970. I joined my agency when I was 30 (Feb. 1, 2001) so I am eligible to retire when I have 20 years of service and turn 50 (Feb. 1, 2021). The mandatory retirement age is 57. If I were to retire at age 50, can I receive the special retirement supplement then, or do I need to wait until I turn 57 (what would have been my mandatory retirement age). If I receive the supplement at any point prior to age 57, what is the formula to figure out what the reduction would be? Any other factors to consider?

A. Law enforcement officers, firefighters and air traffic controllers who retire under the enhanced benefit formula receive the special retirement supplement up to age 62, regardless of the age at which they retire. The only reduction in that benefit would occur if you had earnings from wages or self-employment that exceeded the annual Social Security earnings limit. In 2013, that limit is $15,120.

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