Q: I am 44 and I have 20 years in a 6C covered position and I am considering moving into a noncovered position. By not remaining with the covered position until I am 50 or have 25 years of a covered position, how will this affect my retirement? Will I be able to receive my pension when I am 50 and continue to draw a paycheck from the noncovered position? If not, how long would I have to go until I could retire? What hit would I take in the percentage in my annuity? I have never bought back my 4 1/2 years of military service. Should I look into doing this at this time in my career? Can I transfer into a noncovered position and carry the 6C with me even though it is a non-LEO position?
A: Once you have 20 years in a covered position, you can transfer to a noncovered position and still retire when you reach age 50. The annuity for those 20 years of covered service would be computed using the more generous LEO formula, with any additional years computed using the standard formula. Whether or not you make a deposit for your years of active-duty service is up to you. If you do, the noncovered position of your annuity would be increased by 1 percent for each of those years. You cannot leave a covered position for a noncovered one before completing 20 years and, by implication, receive a LEO retirement benefit.