Non-law enforcement employment and 6c coverage


Q. From 1998 to 2002, I worked as an inspector for the U.S. Customs Service (now CBP) which was, at that time, a non-law enforcement position. In 2002, I was hired by another agency as a criminal investigator, a law enforcement position that falls under 6c.

A few years ago, CBP officers were given law enforcement status in the government, and they are now all under 6c. Can I buy back my four years as an inspector since that position is now under 6c? If not, how do those years calculate into my retirement; will they add on once I have satisfied the 20 years/50 years old or 25 total years?

A. You could not get law enforcement credit for that time. When you retire, any such service  will be calculated using the standard formula, not the enhanced one.


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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


  1. Anthony Q. Sartin on

    I have a similar question. I am in the same position as the original writer; however, my question is since I have 18 years of law enforcement to date, would my past Customs Inspector 6C time make me eligible at 20+ years right now?

  2. I have over six years under a 6c retirement position then I transferred to a non- 6c position – that I will retire from. Do I get the enhance credit for the 6 years that I paid a high amount for or just the one percent?

  3. Hello I’m in a similar situation. I served in the military and bought my time 4 years. I served under U.S. Customs from 1997 to 2004 (7 plus years). I took another law enforcement job a covered position (6C) and have worked 17 years and 3 months to date. A total of federal time 28 years. I am 52 years old can i retire at the current moment and receive full compensation? Thank you.

    • Law enforcement officers can retire at age 50 with 20 years of service. You’ll have to go to your personnel office and find out if any of the time you spent with the U.S. Customs Service would be creditable when determining your total years of 6(c) service.

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