FERS formula trumps law enforcement system


Q. I’m 52 years old. I bought back my active-duty time while I was working at a federal prison. This gave me 15 years with the federal prison. I am now working in a non-law enforcement job at the Veterans Administration and have five years with the VA system, which gives me 20 years’ service in total. I know that I will retire with 20 years in the Federal Employees Retirement System, but my question is, will I get the credit for the law enforcement retirement, which is at 56, or the regular FERS retirement at age 60?

A. The earliest you could retire on an immediate, unreduced annuity is age 62. When you do retire, your annuity will be computed using the standard FERS formula. Only law enforcement officers with at least 20 years of covered service have their annuities computed using the more generous 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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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