Q. I have searched the questions and have not seen this here (or on the OPM site). I am currently covered by the Law Enforcement retirement (FERS, TSP)and have 11 years in as a law enforcement officer plus three years federal service as a non-LEO. I am 48 and am considering retirement to go back to school. I may return to federal service at some point, but not as an LEO. I would be retiring without having 20 years or the MRA of 50 (my MRA is 57).
1. Retirement versus resignation. I know there are benefits to “retiring” as opposed to “resigning” (especially as an LEO), but what are the major pension pros and cons (my personnel retirement office was not very helpful)?
2. If I retire, how does deferment work and the eventual pension?
3. If I re-enter federal service before the MRA, does the clock just start again at that point?
A. Based on your age and service, you aren’t eligible to retire. Therefore, if you decide to leave government, you’d be resigning. As long as you didn’t take a refund of your retirement contributions, you could apply for a deferred annuity at age 62. That annuity would be calculated using the standard formula and would be based on your years and full months of service and your high-3 on the day you left. If you returned to work for the government, as far as years of service are concerned, you would simply pick up where you left off.