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Special Notices

Defense of Marriage Act

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will now be able to extend certain benefits to Federal employees and annuitants who have legally married a spouse of the same sex, regardless of the employee’s or annuitant’s state of residency. OPM is currently in the process of updating and revising the website to reflect this change, and will be updating this information as soon as possible. Please check back in the coming weeks for updates.


Entitlement to Enhanced Formula with Annuity Recalculation

If you are receiving a disability or survivor annuity based wholly or in part on service listed below, you may be entitled to have your annuity recalculated using an enhanced formula for that service. Your annuity may increase if you are receiving a disability annuity or a survivor annuity based on service in any of the following positions under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS):

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Firefighter
  • Nuclear Materials Courier performed with the Department of Energy on or after October 1, 1977
  • Customs and Border Protection Officer on or after July 6, 2008
  • Member of the Capitol Police
  • Member of the Supreme Court Police
  • Congressional Employee
  • Air Traffic Controller

See chart for a list of qualifying law enforcement officer service.

The amount of an annuity benefit is typically based on the amount of creditable service an individual performs and the average pay of the individual. The amount of creditable service performed may not always affect the amount of disability and survivor annuities, especially when those benefits are based on the guaranteed minimum annuity provisions of the law. For example, a CSRS disability annuity may be based on a guaranteed minimum equal to 40 percent of the individual's average pay if the annuity based on the actual amount of service performed by the individual would be less than 40 percent of the average pay.

This recalculation is due to changes in interpretation of the applicable statutes that have evolved over time. If the recalculation results in an annuity benefit higher than the benefit you are receiving, we will adjust your annuity to the higher amount. We will also compare the total amount of annuity we have paid you since your annuity began based on our original computation with the total amount of annuity we would have paid you under the revised computation, and pay you any additional amount of annuity you may be due. If the recalculation does not result in a higher annuity benefit, we will so notify you and no change will be made to your annuity.

If you have any questions about this notice or would like to request a review of your case, please email us at edsa@opm.gov. You may also call us at 1(888) 767-6738.

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Employee groups that are "law enforcement officers" for the purpose of retirement under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS)

In general, the term law enforcement officer in the retirement statutes means an employee "the duties of whose positions are primarily the investigation, apprehension, or detention of persons suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws of the United States, per 5 U.S.C. §8331(20) and 5 U.S.C. §8401(17). The statutory definition of law enforcement officer also includes an employee who moves directly to a supervisory or administrative law enforcement officer position from a frontline or "primary" law enforcement officer position (i.e., a position the primary duties of which are "investigation, apprehension, or detention of persons suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws of the United States..."), per definitions of primary and secondary positions at 5 CFR 831.902 and 5 CFR 842.802.

Because law enforcement officer coverage is determined on a position-by-position basis, it is not possible to produce a definitive list of occupations that are covered as law enforcement positions. The attached list provides a general listing of covered law enforcement officer and non-covered law enforcement officer's occupations but it is not all inclusive.

If you have any questions as to whether or not your service was covered under the LEO provisions; please email us at edsa@opm.gov You may also call us at 1(888) 767-6738.

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Covered Law Enforcement Officers Occupations

Positions that typically qualify as Law Enforcement Officer Positions under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS)

  • Border Patrol agents;
  • Correctional Officers or Prison Support Staff working for Bureau of the Prisons, and Federal Prison Industries, Inc.; employees of the Public Health Service assigned to the Bureau of the Prisons, or Federal Prison Industries, Inc.; or civilian employees in the field service at the Army or Navy disciplinary barracks or at confinement facilities operated by any of the armed forces who are engaged in the detention of prisoners (i.e., Prison Correctional Officers, and employees in frequent direct contact with prisoners);
  • Criminal Investigators;
  • Customs Investigators;
  • Deputy U.S. Marshals;
  • FBI special agents;
  • Federal Probation and Parole Officers;
  • Instructors at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center(FLETC) (covered as secondary LEO positions);
  • Law Enforcement Park Rangers;
  • Office of the Inspector General investigators in various agencies;
  • Park Police (Only if covered under FERS);
  • Secret Service Agents (Only if covered under FERS);
  • Secret Service Uniformed Division (Only if covered under FERS);
  • TSA Federal Air Marshals;
  • U.S. Marshals.

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Non - Covered Law Enforcement Officer's Occupation

Positions that typically do not qualify As Law Enforcement Officer Positions under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS)

  • Assistant U.S. Attorneys;
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing Police;
  • DEA Diversion Investigators;
  • DHS Federal Protective Service;
  • DOD Police;
  • GPO Police;
  • Guards at Government buildings or other facilities;
  • IRS Revenue Officers;
  • Mint Police;
  • Secret Service Special Officers;
  • VA Police.

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