GS-08 retirement pay


Q. My question is regarding special category employees. I’ve heard that over 16,000 employees would be affected by this. If an employee is promoted to GS-08 before he reaches 20 years of service, he would not be entitled to special category retirement pay. Is this true? If it is, what can I do to retire as a special category employee?

A. To be eligible to retire as a firefighter under the enhanced benefit formula, you need to be employed for 20 years in a covered position. While you must start in a primary position, you may later transfer to a secondary position. If being promoted to a GS-08 position would result in your being in a noncovered position before you had accumulated 20 years of covered service, don’t accept the offer.


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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

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