Unemployment after mandatory retirement?


Q: I work in the area of law enforcement with the Bureau of Prisons. We have a mandatory requirement to retire at age 57. We are forced out without any rights to stay. My question is: Are we eligible for unemployment compensation benefits because we no longer have a job? Even though we are able to work and it is not our decision to leave. If so, how long are we allowed to claim unemployment benefits?

A: While it’s unlikely that you’d qualify for unemployment compensation, such determinations are made by the state in which you reside. Once you have been separated from your government job, you should go to the nearest public employment and claims office of your state’s employment security agency and register for work and claim unemployment benefits.


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. I retired in 2016 and receive FERS and a supplement. I worked for a different employer in 2019 – 2020 and my hours were reduced due to COVID 19. Will my FERS affect my eligibility for UE, even though it is from a different employer?

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