Law enforcement versus FERS retirement


Q. I retired from Customs and Border Protection on Nov. 30 with 26 years and five months, including military service. Since CBP officers were put under law enforcement officer retirement July 6, 2008, my benefits should be 1.7 percent for those years and 1.1 percent for the remaining time since I was 63 at retirement. OPM does not show the calculations it uses in the final booklet it sends, which I received this summer. I ran the numbers, and even with rough rounding, I came up more than $150 short on my final annuity.

What is the best way to get OPM to show how it calculated my annuity so I can request a recalculation? It took nine months to get the final report, and a few months after retiring, I emailed a question OPM never answered. Also, I requested a retirement benefit estimate from CBP six months before my retire date and never received that either.

A. If I understand what you’ve written, you wouldn’t have had 20 years of covered service as a law enforcement officer; therefore, all your service would be calculated using the FERS formula for retirees who retire at age 62 or later with at least 20 years of service.

To request a recalculation — or at least an explanation — you’ll have to call OPM at 1-888-767-6738 and talk to a benefits specialist.


About Author

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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