Q. I am a FERS employee who, prior to having five years of current life insurance through the federal government, will be required to file for FERS disability retirement. Does the period of Leave Without Pay qualify for purposes of continuing accrual toward the five-year mandatory period? I will enter into LWOP, awaiting the OPM decision, about five months prior to having the requisite five-year period. A. Yes, periods of LWOP up to 12 months count toward meeting the five-year requirement. Further, that coverage is provided at no cost to you or your agency.