LEO retirement


Q. I will have 20 years 6(c) time on Jan. 10, 2020. I will be 45 years old. I am buying back 9 years of active-duty military time. When I hit 20 years 6c, can I retire, although I know that I won’t be able to start collecting retirement pay until I’m 50?

A. If you left government after you had 20 years of covered service, you wouldn’t be eligible for a deferred annuity until you reach your minimum retire age (MRA), which is 57. That annuity would be computed using the more generous formula for law enforcement officers. Any creditable service above 20 years would be computed using the standard formula. Note: You wouldn’t be eligible for the special retirement supplement nor would you be able to re-enroll in either the Federal Employees Health Benefits or the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance programs.


About Author

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


  1. Elaine Lumsden on

    In order to receive the enhanced annuity for a law enforcement officer one must retire on an immediate annuity. If this individual elects to leave at age 45 and collect at their MRA, the enhanced annuity will not be used in their annuity computation as it is a deferred retirement, not immediate.

    • Steve's biggest fan! on

      So what you are saying is that when they decide to retire, they should either elect the immediate annuity or don’t retire at that point in time. Correct?

    • Elaine Lumsden on

      What I ask trying to explain is each retirement option has its own rules. In order to retire as a Law Enforcement Officer and collect the enhanced annuity computation, Chapter 46 CSRS FERS Handbook page 52 states the individual must be age 50 with 20 LEO years or any age with 25 LEO at the time of separation. Any individual leaving before meeting that criteria would resign federal service and then at a later date be eligible for a deferred annuity. Chapter 45, CSRS FERS Handbook page 14 states: Law enforcement officers who separate from service subject to FERS for reasons other than misconduct with 20 years of service as a law enforcement officer may receive a deferred annuity at the MRA with no reduction for age. Then you have to find how annuities are calculated. For deferred, whether they left as a LEO or not, since they did not meet the age and service requirement at separation to retire on an immediate annuity, the enhanced formula is not applicable.

      In the example above, the individual is not retiring at age 45 since they do not have 25 years of LEO service. They are resigning. The military service, since it was performed prior to his/her federal civilian service cannot count as LEO service, even if they make the military service deposit.

  2. Hello sir. I am a FED LEO and I will be 57 years old next year with 26 years of service. Someone told me I can put in a request for a waiver to extend my service until I am 60 years old. Is this true and if so, could you send me information or a web link where I can fill out the necessary forms? Much appreciated if you could. Thank you.

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