Law enforcement and limitations on rehiring


Q. Is there a limitation on the number of years an individual can be out of law enforcement? I was occupational code 1801 covered under FERS “M” retirement code, worked five years, separated in 2002, and was no longer covered under FERS. I am now 37, want to return as a law enforcement officer 1811. How should the time be counted? Mandatory age-out for an 1811 is 37.

A. There is no limit on how long someone can be out of law enforcement and still be rehired. However, the odds of being rehired diminish the older you are. As a rule, you have be hired in time to accumulate 20 years of covered service by the time you reach age 57. However, an agency can hire someone who won’t complete 20 years until after age 57. If it does, it has to let that employee complete 20 years before madatorily retiring him.


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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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