Q: I have been employed as an 1811 criminal investigator since May 3, 1982. I am 55 and I am still employed in this capacity. However, with mandatory retirement looming in less than two years, I am interviewing for other jobs, some of which are not 1811 positions. Based on my time in grade, I am vested in the federal law enforcement retirement system, and I maintained my CSRS retirement plan. If offered a non-1811 position, would it be more beneficial to retire and take a job? Or, because of my time in grade as an 1811, does that matter?
A: Once you have 20 years of covered service, you can switch to a noncovered position and continue working. Assuming that you are at least 50 years old, you could retire at any time you wanted. On the other hand, if you retired and returned to work for the federal government, in most cases the salary of your new position would be offset by the amount of your annuity. Depending on how long you worked, you might be eligible for a supplemental or redetermined annuity.