Annuity depends on covered service


Q: I’m 48 years old, with prior active-duty military service of six years, as well as 7.5 years of prior FLES Federal Employees Retirement System service. I have been out of the federal workforce for several years and have a recent offer to return to the federal government. The personnel specialist at the VA facility, where the job offer has been extended, could not tell me if my prior 7.5 years of federal LE retirement service would be credited at the special LE calculation rate (1.7%) per year (x high 3) in the event of my future retirement from said VA job. If part of one’s total federal service time is spent in a special-rate, LE retirement-covered position, and another part is in a non-special retirement LE position, are the separate percentages applied to the different times in each occupation? I assume the military time, if bought back, would be at a non-LE special retirement percentage calculation rate, as well? Do I have this estimated correctly: 6 years active military = 6%; 7.5 years special FERS LE = 12.75%; estimated 12 years (to age 60) = 12%; Total 30.75% for high-3 retirement annuity calculation? I really need an answer as I need to consider these questions for my decision, and the personnel specialist did not know.

A: The enhanced formula for computing the annuities of law enforcement officers is only applied if you have 20 years of covered service. Because you don’t, your entire annuity will be calculated using the standard formula.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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