Law enforcement job, other jobs and retirement at 50


Q. I am an 1811 criminal investigator with 21 years of covered law enforcement service. I am 48. Have I locked in my law enforcement retirement such that I can pursue another noncovered federal job while maintaining the option to retire when I turn 50?

A. If you resign from the government, you wouln’t be able to apply for an LEO annuity until you reach your minimum retirement age, which for you would be 56. On the other hand, if you moved into a non-covered position, you could retire any time after you reach age 50.


About Author

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


  1. Hello Sir,

    I wanted to piggy back onto this question for further clarification. I’m currently 43 years old LEO with 21 years of service . I would like to start working in a non LEO position for the federal government. If I left my LEO position to work another position for the government would I still be eligible for my LEO annuity?

  2. thank you for your quick response. Follow up question-If I were to retire earlier from the non LEO government job, say 50 I would then lose my LEO annuity?

      • Hello. I have been told that if I was not 50 yrs old that I lose my LEO retirement. I am 47 years old have 20 years LEO and would like to work for a non LEO Agency. If I went to a non-LEO Agency and say I decided at age 51 I wanted to retire can I and would I still receive my LEO retirement to include the FERS supplement?. If so is there any documentation that can be referenced with this. There is no help on this subject to include OPM and Agency HR. All answers have been different and opinions. I do not want to make such a big decision and be caught in a situation that I can not retire. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

        • What you were told was nonsense. If you have 20 years of covered service and leave to work in a non-LEO position, you’d still be entitled to have those 20 years calculated using the enhanced formula when you retire. However, because you’d be working in a non-LEO position, you wouldn’t be eligible to retire until you reach your minimum retirement age (MRA).

          • I am so sorry for the repeated questions. This subject answers from all sources are not very clear. I still am confused?.
            I am 47 years old and have 20 years LEO. I would like to transfer to another non- LEO Federal Agency, the VA. If I transfer now will I still be able to retire at 50 yrs old with an immediate retirement and receive the FER supplement. Can you please provide a reference for the information. It would not be fun to transfer on an opinion and be stuck until age 60. I have read many contradicting articles. I feel trapped with no solid direction or information. Thanks. Grant

          • If you moved into a non-covered position, you could retire any time after you reach age 50. If you resigned from the government, you wouldn’t be able to retire until you reached your minimum retirement age. In either case, the annuity for your 20 years of LEO-covered service would be computed using the enhanced formula. Any other service under the standard formula.

          • Thank you for clarification. There is a terrible problem with HR not knowing policy or where to produce documentation. Most information is maybe policy but is an opinion because nobody can provide documentation that states either way. Can you please provide reference to answers provided. At this time I do not feel comfortable. I believe you but am looking for supporting documentation. I see a huge retirement battle if I transfer to a non LEO position without documentation. Please help. Thanks.

          • I really appreciate you help with this. I really would like to go to an agency closer to home but am so hesitant without real guidance. Is there someone that I can talk to?. 507-424-7355. Thank you.

          • Hello. If I transfer to a non covered agency after completing my 20 LEO covered, who in the future will ensure that I receive my LEO annuity if I do not have any CFR or documentation. I appreciate your opinion. Thanks.

          • That information will be included in your OPF (Official Personnel Folder) which will move from your current agency to your new agency in hard copy (and often electronically). OPM relies on the information in your OPF to determine your eligibility for benefits and it what amount.

          • Update: I did receive answer back from our Compensation Unit. They provided the chapter 46 highlights that state the requirements for LEO retirement. They did confirm what you said about being able to retire at age 50 with 20 years of covered service, however they said that they did not know if I would still get the FERS supplement. Are you aware under this scenario if you would still get the supplement until age 62? and if so do you have any references. Thanks.

          • If you leave government and apply for a deferred annuity at age 50, you wouldn’t be entitled to the special retirement supplement. If you transferred to a non-LEO position you could retire at age 50 and receive the SRS.

  3. Sorry. The last comment I did not specify that, I would of transferred to a non covered position with 20 covered LEO and 50 Years Old. Will I be eligible for the FERS Supplement until age 62?. Thanks.

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