Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Prior LEO service

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Q. I worked for 10 years and five months under CSRS prior to moving to a law-enforcement covered position. How will the first 10 years be calculated with the 21 years as a LEO?

A. All time beyond 20 years of covered service will be computed using the standard formula, not the enhanced one for LEOs.

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Retire from law enforcement at 48

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Q. I am currently employed with the Bureau of Prisons,and in three years, I will have 20 years law enforcement time. But I will only be 48 years old. Can I just retire from the BOP in three years with total of 20 years law enforcement at age 48? I’d wait until I am 50 years old and start collecting my retirement. From age 48 – 50 I plan just to work at Wal-mart or a grocery store. I also bought back 6 years of my military. Read the rest of this entry »

Age restrictions

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Q. Is there an age restriction for potential employees if they are older than 69?

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Law enforcement and SRS eligibility

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Q. I am eligible for a 30-year retirement in July at age 50. If I do not get another job, I am eligible for a special retirement supplement due to the mandatory early retirement that federal law officers must take.

If I don’t work for, say, six months and then get a job in the private sector and work two years, or if I get a job immediately upon retirement and only work a couple of years, will I still be eligible for the supplement after leaving the private sector?

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Military retirement + civilian retirement

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Q. I left active duty after 14 years and joined the reserves. Due to my specialty in certain investigations (CID agent), I was involuntary mobilized prior to obtaining a civilian (1811) job. I was mobilized for four continuous years, bringing my active-duty time to 18 years. Once off active duty, I was able to report for my first day of work as an 1811 in the GS. Since I was not eligible for active-duty retirement, I was able to use my 18 years for sick/vacation time. My unit is planning to mobilize this year (for a year), and my plan is to mobilize and hope to stay on until reaching 20 active-duty years, thereby clinching an active-duty retirement. If I buy the 18 years back now for the GS civilian job, and then I mobilize for two years, would I be eligible for the active-duty retirement since I will have reached 20 years?

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Law enforcement special retirement coverage

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Q. I was hired as GS-9/11 1811 criminal investigator (primary position) and, after two years and 23 days, I was promoted into a supervisory position for nine years that was classified as a secondary position. Because I did not complete three years in a primary position first, I was told that I did not meet the requirements for special coverage. But I changed agencies and spent my last eight years in a “primary position,” so I have over 10 years in a primary position. I feel that I have completed the three-year requirement. Can I get the nine years of my secondary position covered?

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Disability retirement and law enforcement

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Q. I am receiving disability benefits. I am 49 years old and a former Customs and Border Protection officer. I was basically forced to retire when I became injured, and the agency informed me I was not suitable to be an officer, and they offered me a secretarial job. The agency asserted that I could no longer fulfill my job as a CBP officer notating the job description for 6(c) coverage. I am wondering if I should be entitled to 6(c) retirement under disability or regular retirement?

Before 6(c) was authorized, I was already performing the same duties just without the title. Furthermore, the agency even provided me with a description of a CBP 6(c) officer when they rejected any other law enforcement position for me.

Additionally, if I am found medically recuperated from my injury, does CBP have an obligation to place me back as an officer or supervisor?

Isn’t there a minimum age? I retired at age 44 with 19 years of federal service. I have been on disability for five years. Would they hire me again at age 49 or 50 in a 6(c) law enforcement position? If not, why does the Office of Personnel Management continue to send periodic medical evaluations?

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Special retirement supplement

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Q. I am retiring at age 55. I will have 26 years of 6(c)-covered service and an additional two years of military for a total of 28 years. What is the maximum amount of special retirement supplement I can get as a military veteran?

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CSRS or FERS?

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Q. I am a law enforcement employee with the federal Bureau of Prisons. I joined the BOP on Nov. 26, 1995. Prior to that, I served in the Army on active duty for 11 years, with a two-year break in service.

First term in the Army was Feb. 8, 1983, to May 2, 1988 – Honorable Discharge.

Second term in the Army was April 30, 1990, to Dec. 28, 1995 – Honorable Discharge.

I was on terminal leave while I joined the BOP, so for one month I was double dipping, so to speak.

Would I be eligible for CSRS, since my service computation date for leave is Jan. 8, 1985, or am I stuck with the FERS system? I am in the process of buying back my military time, if that matters.

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Law enforcement annuity calculation

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Q. I am 57 years of age and served 25 years as a FERS law enforcement officer. Two years ago, I transferred from that position to another agency (unbroken service) and serve in a non-LEO FERS position. I continue to contribute 1.3 percent to FERS while my agency contributes its required LEO percentage. The agency suggests I should be paying only 0.8 percent. Upon leaving federal service, how will my retirement be calculated in terms of percentages and high-3 years? Will the calculation change as well as any other factors if I contribute at the lower percentage as the agency suggests?

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Unemployment and law enforcement annuity

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Q. If a person is receiving law enforcement pay after mandatory retirement (worked as a counselor for the Bureau of Prisons), will collecting unemployment affect the law enforcement pay?

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LEO annuity calculation

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 Q. I understand that the first 20 years for law enforcement officer annuity computations are as follows: .017 x your high-3 x 20 years. The remaining years would be computed using the standard formula: .01 x your high-3 x all years over 20. Are the annuity computations for LEO before taxes or after taxes?

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FERS disability

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Q. I have been recently awarded disability as a FERS law enforcement officer. Will my disability be canceled when I hit my minimum retirement age, or will it continue until I am 62 or have recovered, whichever is first?

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Leave without pay

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Q. I read on your site that leave without pay under six months in a calendar year counts as creditable service.  But I also read where it doesn’t count toward the retirement calculation.

I am CSRS but only have 19 years of law enforcement officer status as of June 10, 2014. Can I take a few months of LWOP in 2014 and 2015 and have this time count toward my 20-year LEO retirement computation if the LWOP is under six months in 2014 and under six months in 2015? Will the LWOP time under six months in each of these years count toward my 20-year LEO status and thus allow me to retire July 1, 2015, with the 20 years LEO at 2.5 percent plus the years prior to LEO at 2 percent?

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Law enforcement retirement

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 Q. On a recent post: “Are the health care premiums taxed once we retire if we retire with law enforcement officer retirement?”

You responded: There is a $3,000 deduction available for law enforcement officers.

Where can I obtain more information about the deduction?

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LEO retirement eligibility

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 Q. Please confirm, due to a mandatory retirement age of 57, if an individual decided to change from a law enforcement officer (1811) position to a non-LEO position after completing 20 years of LEO service, at the end of the non-LEO employment, the individual still qualify to retire as a LEO?

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Disability retirement

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Q. I am 46 years old and coming up on 23 years of federal law enforcement service. Under our retirement calendar, we must retire at age 57. I could retire voluntarily at 49 with 25 years of service. I am considering a disability retirement due to a recent injury that has left my body, which has had many prior on-the-job injuries, racked with pain, and I can no longer perform my job.

Will the following years that will count into my federal total time in service, once on disability retirement, continue until my 57th or 62nd birthday under normal retirement age limits?  Does this mean that it would add 10 years of credit to my total time in at age 57? Wouldn’t that put my percentage of my high-3 average at or above 50 percent since I believe we are credited at the rate of 1.1 percent per year? Adding in the special Social Security annuity that we start receiving upon retirement from federal law enforcement, is this completely taken out of our monthly payment for the disability retirement during the first year? Or is that Social Security disability that I must apply for as part of the disability retirement process that is taken out for the first year? Are they the same thing or two different Social Security payments?

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Taxation of FEHB premiums for law enforcement

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Q. Are the health care premiums taxed once we retire if we retire with law enforcement officer retirement?

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Disability retirement and SRS

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Q. I am a federal law enforcement officer. I have an accepted workers’ compensation claim, and it appears that I am no longer physically able to perform the duties of my job. I do not appear to be completely disabled, so I probably can’t get Office of Workers’ Compensation Program disability.

I am four years short of being eligible for the minimum needed for enhanced law enforcement retirement.

If I obtain an Office of Personnel Management disability annuity, am I eligible to obtain the special retirement supplement until age 62?

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6(c) retirement

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Q. I was employed 19 years as a law enforcement officer in a 6(c) position under FERS. My agency closed my post of duty and attempted to locate me some 300 miles away. It should be noted that the agency and agents had a mobility agreement in place. Due to family issues, I resigned. After a couple of years, I returned to an LEO position. However, it is not designated as a 6(c) position. I am getting ready to retire. Because of the closing of my duty station, and a relocation outside my commuting area, am I still entitled to 19 years of 6(c) retirement benefits? Also, is AUO computed into the high-3?

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