Military service, law enforcement employment and retirement


Q. I am going through the hiring process for a couple of federal law enforcement agencies. I am 41; however, I am a veteran’s preference eligible candidate and therefore eligible for an age waiver. As such, the agencies have advised me that hiring of eligible such candidates older than 37 has occurred and is occurring; however, no one can tell me how that affects the mandatory retirement of 57. I have 18 years of military service. roughly half active duty and half reserve time (I am a drilling reservist looking to retire out of the reserves at 20 years).

What are the retirement considerations for those hired into covered law enforcement positions after age 37? Does/can an adequate number of years of military buyback factor into meeting the mandatory retirement at 57?

A. If you are hired after the normal entry age, you will be mandatorily retired at the end of the month in which you complete 20 years of covered service. Your annuity for that 20 years of covered service will be computed using the enhanced formula for law enforcement officers. Your active-duty military service isn’t creditable toward meeting the 20-year requirement. Instead, if you have made a deposit to get credit for that time, that portion of your annuity will be computed using the standard annuity formula.


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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

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