Transferring to a non-LEO position


Q: I am a federal law enforcement employee with 20 years covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System FERS plus five years worth of military buyback time. I have six more years before I will face mandatory retirement at my 57th birthday. I want to transfer to a non-LEO position with another federal agency so I can keep working. Please confirm that if I do transfer to a non-LEO position with another federal agency that I can keep working past 57 and not face mandatory retirement, and that my 20 years of FERS LEO service will transfer over at the 1.7 percent per year retirement rate as a part of my overall pension. Neither the Office of Personnel Management nor my human resources office have confirmed this for me.

A: If you transfer to a noncovered position, you can continue working as long as you want. When you retire, your 20 years of covered service will be computed using the special, enhanced formula. The rest of your service will be calculated using the standard multiplier of 0.01 percent, unless you retire at age 62 or later. In that case, those years would be multiplied by 0.011 percent.


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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. Jamie Littlefield on

    After reading this I am curious if one transferred from a non-LEO (15years) under FERS to a LEO under FERS at age 35, how long would I need to work to be eligible for retirement under LEO? Also what would the rate of retirement pay be? How long would I need to work in the LEO position in order for the rules of LEO retirement versus Non-LEO FERS to apply? I have had an extremely difficult time trying to find the answer to these questions and even my HR hasn’t been able to answer them. Please help.

    • You would have be in an LEO-covered position for 20 years to qualify for the more generous retirement benefit. That benefit would be 1.6 per cent of your high-3 x 20 years of service. all other service would be calculated using the standard FERS formula.

      • Piggy backing on the above example, if he were to retire in his early 50s, but shy of the 20 years LEO, how would that work?
        Would the Minimum Retirement age reduction be applicable? If so, how would it apply, and would it only be applicable to the non-LEO service?
        Thank you

        • If he had reached his minimum retirement age but didn’t have 20 years of covered service as an LEO, his retirement eligibility would be governed by the age and service rules that apply to all non-special category employees.

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