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 SPECIAL RETIREMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS

Special retirement provisions for law enforcement officers and firefighters entitle those who meet the eligibility requirements to retire with a special annuity computation.

MANDATORY SEPARATION

Law enforcement officers and firefighters are subject to mandatory separation based on age and length of service. Mandatory separation does not apply to employees who are eligible for retirement under the special provisions but are not currently occupying a law enforcement officer or firefighter position.

You are subject to mandatory separation, unless your activity has requested an exemption, if you are age 57 with 20 years of service under the special retirement provision. If you reach age 57 and do not have 20 years of service under the special retirement provisions, you may remain in your position until you have reached 20 years of service.

If you are subject to mandatory separation, you will receive a notice from the Civilian Benefits Center at least 60 days before the separation date. The mandatory separation will be effective the last day of the month in which both age and length of service requirements are met.

 ACTION REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER/FIREFIGHTER SPECIAL RETIREMENT

  1. You must meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • Age and length of service:
      Age is at Least Creditable Law Enforcement Officer/Firefighter Service is at Least
      50 20 years
      Any age 25 years
    • Separate from a position subject to FERS coverage
  2. Read the Information for Prospective FERS Retirees and select your retirement date.
  3. View the eSeminar for special retirement employees.
  4. Request an estimate of your retirement annuity if you have not previously received one. The FERS retirement annuity for law enforcement officers and firefighters is computed using the FERS special formula for law enforcement officers, firefighters and air traffic controllers. (not the general formula)
  5. Complete the SF 3107, Application for Immediate Retirement.
  6. If you are waiving retired military pay to receive credit for military service under FERS, complete the Waiver of Retired Military Pay and send it to the military component 60–90 days before your planned retirement date.

    If you have made a deposit, you should attach the receipt that shows your deposit has been paid in full. The receipt can be a copy of a Leave and Earnings Statement or payroll letter showing the deposit has been paid.

    If you have not made a deposit for your post-1956 active military service, you still have the opportunity to do so, but it must be paid in full to your payroll office prior to your retirement.

    If you are retired from active military duty, made a deposit for your military service, and have decided that you will not combine your military and civilian service for FERS retirement, you must apply for a refund of your military deposit by completing an SF 3106, Application for Refund of Retirement Deductions.
  7. If you are enrolled in the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program and meet the 5-year requirement for continuing coverage after retirement, complete the SF 2818, Continuation of Life Insurance Coverage as an Annuitant or Compensationer. If you are not enrolled in Option A, B, or C, check the "I do not have” block. The FEGLI Calculator helps you determine the current value and cost of your life insurance and how it will change after you retire. The premiums shown on the SF 2818 have not been updated by OPM. Correct premiums are available on the OPM Web site.

    If you do not meet the 5-year requirement to continue your life insurance, your retirement specialist will provide information about converting to a private policy.
  8. If you are enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program, your coverage will automatically continue if you meet the 5-year requirement; no additional action is required. If you do not meet the 5-year requirement, your retirement specialist will provide information about electing Temporary Continuation of Coverage.

    If you want to make a Benefits Open Season election and will retire before the effective date (the first day of the first pay period in January), you cannot make your election using the Employee Benefits Information System. You must complete an SF 2809, Health Benefits Election between Monday of the second full work week in November and the Monday of the second full work week in December and send it to your retirement specialist.
  9. If you are enrolled in the Federal Dental and Vision Insurance Program, your coverage will automatically continue. It may take a few annuity cycles before dental and/or vision premiums are withheld. After the first successful deduction from your annuity, BENEFEDS will adjust your deduction to catch up for the payments that were missed during the transition. You will receive a letter from BENEFEDS informing you of the amount of the adjusted deduction.
  10. If you are currently enrolled in the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS), your eligibility automatically terminates when you retire. You should contact an FSAFEDS benefits counselor for information about your account.
  11. If you are enrolled in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program, you must contact Long Term Care Partners to notify them that you are retiring so they can coordinate with OPM to set up deductions from your annuity.
  12. If you participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), no action is required if you want to leave your money in TSP. If you want to withdraw your money from TSP, you should wait 30 days from the effective date of your retirement before submitting your request. Additional information is available on the TSP Web site. The TSP can assist you with your questions about your withdrawal options.
  13. If you have a life threatening condition and are applying for an alternative form of annuity, complete RI 38-122, Alternative Annuity and Rollover Election and attach a doctor’s certification of your medical condition. You should read RI 38-123, Alternative Annuity Election Information for Employees and RI 37-22, Special Tax Information for Employees. You may also request an alternative form of annuity and complete the RI 38-122 after OPM provides you with specific annuity information.
  14. Your retirement annuity payments will be directly deposited to the same financial institution that currently receives your salary deposits. If you want to make a change, complete an SF 1199A, Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form and attach it to your retirement application or make the change after you retire using Retirement Services Online.
  15. Federal tax will be withheld from your retirement annuity in the amount currently withheld from your salary. If you want to change the amount of Federal tax withheld, complete a W4-P, Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments and attach it to your retirement application or make the change after you retire using Retirement Services Online. You can calculate how much Federal income tax should be withheld from your retirement annuity by using the Federal Tax Withholding Calculator.

    Part of the retirement annuity you receive is a tax-free recovery of your contributions to FERS; the remainder of your annuity is taxable. You can figure the tax-free portion using the OPM calculator. Information about taxation of your annuity is explained in IRS Publication 721, Tax Guide to U.S. Civil Service Benefits.
  16. State tax is not automatically withheld from your annuity. OPM has agreements with some States to allow the withholding of State income tax, but you must specify the dollar amount ($5 or more) you want withheld. After your retirement has been finalized, you can use Retirement Services Online to start, change, or stop the State tax withholdings. If your State does not participate, you should contact your State tax office for information or assistance.
  17. You should review your designation of beneficiary for FEGLI, FERS, and TSP and update if necessary.
  18. Ensure all retirement application forms are signed and dated.
  19. Make a copy of all forms for your records.
  20. Notify your supervisor that you are retiring. Ask that the activity create an electronic Request for Personnel Action (SF 52) in the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System and route it to inbox NV_R_Retire_Death. You will sign a paper copy of the request and attach it to your retirement application.
  21. Mail the original retirement application to the Civilian Benefits Center. Since original signatures are required, faxed or e-mailed forms are not accepted.

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