1. General policy. To maintain a young and vigorous workforce in physically arduous Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) positions, it is the policy of the Department of Justice, to employ persons who are physically capable of meeting the rigorous demands of law enforcement activities. This policy applies to all Components of the Department, unless superseded by a specific exception or delegation of authority from the Attorney General or the Assistant Attorney General for Administration (AAG/A). The AAG/A is responsible for the overall administration of this policy.
2. Maximum entry age. On June 4, 1991, the Attorney General
established the date which immediately precedes an individual's 37th birthday
as the maximum age for initial entry into a primary LEO position.
3. Exemptions from the maximum entry age. Because
of personnel shortages, the Attorney General has exempted Catholic, Islamic,
and Jewish chaplains; medical and dental officers; nurses and nurse practitioners;
and physician's assistants in the Bureau of Prisons from the maximum entry
age for LEOs. Memoranda on the exemptions were signed by the Attorney General
on the following dates: Catholic Chaplains, August 13, 1976; Islamic Chaplains,
September 27, 1988; Jewish Chaplains, August 1, 1994; medical and dental officers,
March 10, 1998; nurses and nurse practitioners, March 28, 2000; and physician's
assistants, March 21, 1989.
4. Exceptions to the maximum entry age. The
AAG/A has the authority to approve exceptions to the maximum entry age. Exceptions
to the maximum entry age will only be granted in cases of especially qualified
individuals; shortage of highly qualified applicants for specific LEO positions
(includes shortages in certain geographic areas); situations where tentative
selectees for law enforcement positions have passed the maximum entry age due
to unavoidable or unexpectedly lengthy clearance or processing requirements;
or for other similarly compelling reasons.
Requests for exception to the maximum
entry age must be submitted in writing by the Component Head (or designee) to
the AAG/A, except as noted in paragraphs B.3. and B.5. of this chapter. The
request should include the following:
a. The proposed appointee's name, date
of birth, and the desired date of employment;
b. Copies of the position description and the proposed appointee's application
for employment; and
c. A statement that fully explains the basis for the desired exception.
5. Delegation of authority to grant exceptions to the maximum entry age. The
AAG/A has delegated authority to grant exceptions to the maximum entry age
up to the day preceding the individual’s 40th birthday to the Heads of Department
Components having law enforcement officers. This delegation of authority may not be
6. Mandatory retirement age. As provided by 5
U.S.C. 8335 and 8425, incumbents of positions approved for LEO coverage under
the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System
who are otherwise eligible for immediate LEO retirement shall be separated
from the service on the last day of the month in which the LEO becomes 57 years
of age or completes 20 years of LEO service if then over that age. Each LEO
must be given a written notice of his or her mandatory retirement date at least
60 days in advance of the date of separation. Action to separate the employee
is not effective without the consent of the employee, until the last day of
the month in which the 60-day notice expires.
7. Delegation of authority to grant exceptions to the mandatory retirement age. Authority
to grant exceptions to the mandatory retirement age up to the day preceding
the individual’s 60th birthday has been delegated to the Heads of Department
Components having law enforcement officers. (Beyond age 60, approval external
to the Department is required.) This delegation of authority may not be
redelegated. Exceptions to the mandatory retirement age may only be granted
in special cases where the continuation of the employee's services promotes
the needs of the Component in fulfilling its mission, and retention of the
employee clearly serves the public interest. This includes but is not limited
to: an ongoing criminal investigation which could best be brought to a successful
conclusion by the retention of a particular LEO or a case in which there is
a skills shortage and a qualified replacement is not readily available to replace
a highly skilled incumbent who is responsible for a vital program.
8. Limitation on the number of exceptions for Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Senior Executive Service (SES). The
number of exceptions to the mandatory retirement age for FBI LEO members of
the SES may not exceed 20 in effect at any one time.
Head of the Department Component will annually notify the AAG/A of the exercise
of this authority during the previous fiscal year. The notification should
contain the following information:
1. The employee's name, date of birth, length
of LEO service, and date of mandatory retirement;
2. The employee's title, series, grade, organizational title, and duty location;
3. A statement that the employee is willing to remain in Government service;
4. A description of the reasons why the employee's retention is necessary and
the requested duration of the exception; and
5. Certification by the Component Head that the employee's retention for the
period of time specified in the request would be in the public interest and
would promote the needs of the Component in fulfilling its mission.