Age qualifications


Q: On Dec. 16 I applied for a job as a criminal investigator with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. I had to submit a qualification form to verify my age to make sure I meet the age requirements of being hired by the time I’m 36. I was denied further consideration because I was too old for the position. I’m 37 and will be 38 on Feb. 25. I’ve been in the federal law enforcement system in 6C covered positions for 12 years now, three years with Secret Service Uniformed Division and nine years with the Air Marshal Service.  As I understand the 6C coverage, I’m exempt from having to be hired by the age of 36 because of I already have time served and I would fulfill any retirement standards by the age of 57. Actually, I am eligible for full retirement benefits at age 52 as I would have over 25 years of service by then. Could you please help me with the 6C policy and where I can find the full written policy so I can submit the facts pertaining to me to the Postal Inspection Service for further consideration?

A: The age requirement only applies to someone who is first hired into a covered position. That limit is set to assure that anyone who is hired will be able to complete the 20 years of service necessary to retire under the special retirement provisions. Because you are already in a covered position and would complete 20 years of service before facing mandatory separation, it doesn’t apply to you. The folks who reviewed your application at the Postal Service missed that fact. You need to go back to them and point that out.


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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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