Mandatory retirement


Q. I am a law enforcement officer with 25 years of FERS service as an 1811 and recently (Feb. 1) turned age 50. I am eligible to retire but have no plans or desire to. I will be forced to retire at age 57. Do I have to retire on Dec. 31, 2019, when I am still 56, or can I retire the year I turn 57, which would be Dec. 31, 2020? Also, I would like to know, now that I have the 25 years of 1811 service time in, can I switch job series, to intelligence officer or other (non-6C coverage) and work as long as I want? I have five kids and want to work until I am at least 62, if not 65.

A. You will be separated on the last day of the month in which you turn age 57. Since you have already met the minimum requirements for an enhanced law enforcement officer annuity (age 50 with 20 years of service), you could look for another job at any time. When you finally retired, any years of service above 20 would be computed using the standard formula.


About Author

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


  1. I have the same birthday as the gentleman above. The year I turned 57, OPM advised that I HAD to retire as of January 31, as they considered me to have reached 56 years and 365 days. I sure wish I could have collected one more month’s salary.

    • Laws have a way of cutting both ways. In your case, you got what you were entitled to, even though it would have been nice to pick up another month.

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