Q: I have been employed in law enforcement for the past 13 years. Early in my career, I was ill and had leave without pay for 2 months. If I left the LEO position in seven years for a non-LEO federal position, will I have to take into account the 2 months of LWOP in ensuring I have 20 years in an LEO position? Also, am I correct that I can work 20 years in a LEO position then 4 years in a non-LEO position and retire at 50 with a law enforcement retirement?
A: As a rule, periods of leave without pay that don’t exceed six months are treated as if you were still on the job for retirement purposes. However, you’ll need to check with your personnel office to see if there are any variations to that rule affecting LEOs of which I’m unaware. As for your second question, yes, you can take a noncovered position after having served in a covered position for 20 years and retire at age 50.