Retire and rehire?


Q. I have about 25 years of FERS service, am in a 6c covered law enforcement job and am looking to move into another federal agency in a non-law-enforcement capacity but at slightly higher pay.  Because the recently enacted Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act stipulates that only law enforcement officers who “retired” from a job with law enforcement arrest and weapons carriage authority at the time of retirement qualify, I am considering the possibility of retiring on a Saturday (at the end of a pay period) and then “rehiring” in my FERS non- law-enforcement job the next day (Sunday), since this would be the start of the next pay period, and would apparently satisfy the statutory requirement of “retiring,” while a simple change of agency transfer would not.  Would doing this, if I could even arrange it, cause any problems such as the new agency (or OPM) applying my new salary against an offset, or would I simply draw my new salary as if the retirement did not exist, i.e., it would be “canceled” since I was immediately rehired?  I am also concerned that with the current OPM retirement processing backlog, I might be creating a problem.

A. Retiring at the end of a pay period and being employed by another agency the following day wouldn’t be any different than retiring and going back to work in a week, a month or a year later. With rare exception, your salary would be offset by the amount of your annuity. While it might be a nightmare for you and your new agency’s payroll office to start a new job before the final amount of your annuity was known, it could be sorted out down the line. You’d just have to set enough money aside to be able to return any overpayments of salary that were made to you.


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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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