Federal Workforce:

Positions Eligible for Law Enforcement Officer Retirement Benefits

GGD-89-24: Published: Feb 2, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 9, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on job classification for federal law enforcement employees eligible under the special retirement provisions of the Civil Service Retirement System, focusing on: (1) the number of approved positions and law enforcement employees hired governmentwide since 1982; (2) whether and why the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and the Treasury increased their law enforcement job classifications and personnel; and (3) the potential effects of proposed legislation to expand the special retirement program to other employee groups.

GAO found that: (1) as of June 30, 1987, there were 44,646 federal employees covered by law enforcement officer special retirement benefits; (2) the number of law enforcement officers receiving the benefits increased by 32 percent from December 1982 through June 1987, while the number of positions approved by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) increased by 44 percent; (3) from January 1985 through June 1987, DOJ and the Customs Service increased their law enforcement work forces by 22 percent and 36 percent, respectively; (4) the increase in the DOJ work force was less than 1 percent, and the increase in Customs' work force was 2 percent; (5) government expenditures for law enforcement activities were the primary reason for the staff increases; and (6) proposed legislation to extend law enforcement retirement benefits to inspectors at Customs, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Internal Revenue Service could increase by 34 percent the number of covered personnel at an estimated cost of $1.3 billion.

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