Formula for calculating LEO and non-LEO retirement benefits

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Q. I have 23 years of covered service under CSRS: 16 years are in a law enforcement officer covered position, and seven in a non-LEO covered position.

What is the formula for calculating my retirement benefit?

A. When you retire, your annuity will be computed using the standard formula, not the enhanced one used for law enforcement officers who have completed 20 years of covered service.

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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.

2 Comments

  1. I entered on duty on Feb 2002 as an Immigration Officer GS 1816, and then converted to LEO, Customs and Border Protection officer , GS 1895, (CBPO),in July 8, 2008. On Aug 2009, I transferred to a Seized Property Specialist position. ( I wear a CBPO uniform/ badge and carry firearm as CBPO, secondary position)

    I am now 48 years of age. and I desire to return to my CBPO position. As I understand it, the age is not a factor since the 57 mandatory age retirement does not apply to me as I was a Immigration Officer prior to the implementation of the LEO position.

    Am I allowed to return to the CBPO position?

    Below are section of the OPM incorporate amendments to CSRS and FERS retirement law pursuant to section 535 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008.

    SUMMARY:
    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposes to amend its regulations, to reflect changes in the retirement benefits available to customs and border protection officers under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). These proposed rules incorporate amendments to CSRS and FERS retirement law pursuant to section 535 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008.

    In addition to the provisions that will be continuing and that will apply to individuals employed as customs and border protection officers on its effective date, section 535 of the Act also includes unique provisions applicable to individuals who are customs and border protection officers on its effective date. These incumbents will not be subject to mandatory retirement, but are eligible for partial annuity computation credit for future service as a customs and border protection officer.

    Who Is Covered

    The same definition is applicable to both FERS and CSRS:
    The term “customs and border protection officer” means an employee in the Department of Homeland Security (A) who holds a position within the GS-1895 job series (determined applying the criteria in effect as of September 1, 2007) or any successor position, and (B) whose duties include activities relating to the arrival and departure of persons, conveyances, and merchandise at ports of entry, including any such employee who is transferred directly to a supervisory or administrative position in the Department of Homeland Security after performing such duties (as described in subparagraph (B)) in 1 or more positions (as described in subparagraph (A)) for at least 3 years.

    Secondary coverage is not limited to positions in the GS-1895 series. However, section 535 of the Act permits secondary coverage using language equivalent to that applicable to other special retirement groups (i.e., law enforcement officers, firefighters, etc.). Thus, as in the law enforcement officer retirement regulations, secondary coverage will generally be limited to continuous employment in supervisory and/or administrative positions that could not be performed by individuals without prior experience in a customs and border protection officer primary position.

    Mandatory retirement: Sections 831.1608(c) and 842.1006(d) of the proposed rule address the provisions of section 535(e)(2)(A) of the Act, which provide that mandatory retirement “shall not apply to an individual first appointed as a customs and border protection officer before the effective date” of July 6, 2008. Unlike another provision of section 535, this does not specify that the individual has to be a customs and border protection officer on the effective date. Thus, an individual previously appointed as a customs and border protection officer before July 6, 2008, but not employed on that date would not be subject to mandatory retirement upon returning to customs and border protection officer employment following that break in service.

    Prior to the establishment of the GS-1895 series, it was preceded by two precursor position series, GS-1816, Immigration Inspection, and GS-1890, Customs Inspection. Most positions classified under those series would now be classified under the GS-1895 series. Accordingly, for purposes of evaluating whether pre-July 2004 service is qualifying as primary service, positions classified prior to July 2004 in either the GS-1816 or GS-1890 series should be considered as meeting the requirement of being a “position within the GS-1895 job series (determined applying the criteria in effect as of September 1, 2007).” However, merely being in one of those two series does not mean that the position was a primary position. The additional requirements relating to the type of work performed must also be satisfied.

    (b) Exclusion from coverage. The provisions of this subpart and any other specific reference to customs and border protection officers in this part do not apply to employees who on December 25, 2007, were law enforcement officers under subpart I of this part or subpart H of part 842 within U.S. Customs and Border Protection. These employees cannot elect to be treated as a customs and border protection officer under paragraph (a) of this section, nor can they be deemed to have made such an election.

    Your time and attention to this matter is greatly appreciated,

    • I’m not qualified to offer an opinion. You’ll have to check with your agency personnel office. If they are uncertain (or you don’t believe their answer is correct), you can always ask them to check with OPM.

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