CSRS/CSRS Offset – LEOs and Firefighters
The basic annuity as an employee eligible to retire under the special provisions for law enforcement officers and firefighters is computed as follows:
- 50% of high-3
- plus 2% of high-3 multiplied by years and whole months of service exceeding 20.
Premium pay received as a firefighter or law enforcement officer under section 5545(c), or availability pay under section 5545(a), of Title 5, U.S. Code, is included in the high-3 average salary.
Unlike most other federal employees, there is no reduction in the basic annuity for retirement under age 55. However, the annuity amount may be reduced to provide survivor benefits, or if there is service for which a refund was received or that was not covered by retirement deductions.
FERS Annuity – LEOs and Firefighters
Under FERS, the annual annuity of law enforcement officers and firefighters is computed under the following formula:
- 1.7% of high-3 average pay multiplied by 20 years of service
- plus 1% of high-3 average pay multiplied by any years of service above 20.
Regardless of an employee’s age at retirement, there will be no reduction in annuity. Also, a Special Retirement Supplement will be paid until age 62 that approximates the Social Security benefit earned in federal service. After reaching the MRA, the supplement will be reduced or stopped if the retiree has earnings from wages or self-employment that exceed the annual exempt amount under the Social Security earnings test.
Note: Under both systems, the minimum age and service requirements apply even if an employee retires involuntarily or due to disability. An employee does not need to separate from a special covered position at the time of retirement. After accumulating 20 years of law enforcement or firefighter service, an employee can move to a regular position and still receive the special retirement computation. However, the special formula is only used to compute the annuity of an LEO or firefighter who retires on an immediate annuity. If you leave government before you are retirement-eligible and later apply for an annuity when you reach the age of eligibility given your years of service—a “deferred” annuity—your annuity will be computed using the standard formula, not the more generous one.