Firefighter questions


Q. I have been a federal firefighter for 12 years. I am looking into going contract as a firefighter for two years. I turned 35 in October. Is there a cutoff age to where I can no longer return to the federal service as a firefighter? I have heard several things and am not sure which is right. I even spoke to my personnel office, which could not give me an answer. I heard you cannot get rehired once you turn 37 and that you can add the years you have been in the federal service to 37 and that would be the cutoff age.

A. There would be no legal bar to your being rehired as a firefighter.

Your years of covered service mean you would have to work for only eight more years to lock in your entitlement to the enhanced retirement benefit.

However, the hiring decision is up to the agency where you are applying for a job.


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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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