“In 2021 I retired from Customs and Border Protection as a CBP Officer under the Enhanced CBPO retirement system. It had always been my understanding that if I retired under this system, I would be eligible for a COLA raise immediately after retirement. For CY 2022 and CY I did not receive the COLA. when I questioned OPM, they responded that I had to work 20 years under the retirement system to qualify. I can find no regulations that state that only that I have to retire under the system, for which I did. Do I have to work 20 years under the Enhanced CBP OFFICER RETIREMENT system to qualify for the COLA raise?

Reg’s Response

What you were told is correct. Go to

https://www.cbp.gov/employee-resources/benefits/retirement/leo-ecbpo/leo-special-retirement-coverage. There you’ll find the following answer:

“Your LEO service has to total 20 years in order for your LEO service to count toward the increased retirement benefit.”

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to: fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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