Practice Details

Federal and Public Sector Retirement

Special Retirement Provisions

Federal Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) and Firefighters (FFs)

Our firm represents federal LEOs and FFs in the following unique retirement issues based on the laws and regulations of the U. S. Code:

  • LEO/FF Disability Retirement Proceedings (On/Off Duty Issues) Before Individual Federal Agencies and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
  • General LEO and FF Retirement Benefits Issues
  • Scope of Duty Issues
  • Entitlement to Federal LEO and FF Status Before the Federal Agency or the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)
  • Proper Retirement Crediting for Federal LEOs and FFs
  • Federal LEO and FF Retirement MSPB Appeals

State*, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland and Municipal Police and Firefighter Professionals

Our firm represents state*, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland and municipal police and firefighter professionals in their special retirement issues. Each jurisdiction has its own unique retirement system, and we handle the following special public safety retirement matters under these jurisdictions:

  • Disability Retirement Proceedings (On/Off Duty Issues) Before State or Local Jurisdictions
  • Errors in State/Municipal LEO and FF Retirement Benefits
  • Entitlement to State/Municipal Public Safety Retirement Benefits
  • Qualifications for Public Safety Retirement (e.g. OPM)
  • Retirement Crediting Corrections for State/Municipal LEOs and FFs
  • Retirement Appeals to State and District of Columbia Boards and the Court System

State*, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, County and Municipal Education Professionals

Our firm represents education professionals in regard to their retirement issues.  Each jurisdiction (e.g. District of Columbia, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, etc.) has its individual retirement plans and systems.  We can advise and represent teachers and other education professionals in such retirement matters.

Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs)

An air traffic controller is generally defined as a civilian employee of the Department of Transportation or the Department of Defense in an air traffic controller facility or flight service station facility who is 1) actively engaged in a) the separation and control of air traffic; or b) providing pre-flight, in-flight, or airport advisory service to aircraft operators; or 2) the immediate (first-level) supervisor of an air traffic controller.

Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) air traffic controllers are generally eligible to retire voluntarily or involuntarily, except if removed by cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency, at an early age if he or she meets one of the age and service requirements:

  1. Age 50 and 20 years of service; or
  2. Any age and 25 years of service

Unlike CSRS air traffic controllers, Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) air traffic controllers are subject to mandatory, involuntary separation from service based on age:

  1. If the FERS air traffic controller has completed 20 years of service, he or she must separate from service on the last day of the month in which he or she reaches 56 years of age.
  2. If the FERS air traffic controller reaches 56 years of age but has not yet completed 20 years of service, he or she must separate from service on the last day of the month in which he or she completes the 20 years of service.

However, some CSRS provisions and exemption from mandatory separation after age 61 are applicable to FERS air traffic controllers.

Given the unique and complex laws governing entitlement to and qualifications for applying for special public safety retirement benefits, we urge employees to seek legal advice prior to making decisions involving the retirement process and to discuss their options.

We Can Help

Berry & Berry, PLLC represents federal law enforcement officers, firefighters, air traffic controllers, and other public employees nationwide in a wide range of special retirement provisions enacted by Congress.  In addition, our law firm also represents District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland and other state* law enforcement officers, firefighters, teachers and other public employees in disability retirement and traditional retirement matters before their local jurisdictions.  Please contact our firm to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your special retirement provisions issues.

 

*Berry & Berry, PLLC is licensed to practice in DC, MD, MA, ME, MI, NY and VA.  We represent federal employees nationwide.

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