Frequently Asked Questions
The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2 received several inquiries regarding overdue background investigations, expiration of
security clearances, and requirements when separating or retiring from Federal service (Military or Civilian). Below are answers to
commonly asked questions:
If my background investigation is outdated (overdue) will I lose my security clearance?
You will not lose your security clearance if your background investigation is outdated. An outdated background investigation is not a basis to remove an individual’s security clearance eligibility.
- What date prompts the submission of a periodic reinvestigation?
The date the last background investigation closed determines when a periodic reinvestigation should be submitted. Periodic reinvestigations for Top Secret security clearances are due every 5 years and Secret security clearances periodic reinvestigations are due every 10 years.
What happens when my background investigation becomes outdated (overdue) while I am a current Federal employee (Military, Civilian, or Contractor)?
If your current position or duty assignment requires a security clearance, your supporting security manager should automatically initiate you for a periodic reinvestigation. Once initiated, you should receive an email notification from the Army’s Personnel Security Investigation Center of Excellence (PSI-CoE). If you are due for a periodic reinvestigation and you have not received notification, you should consult with your security manager.
What happens to my access if I am unable to submit a periodic reinvestigation?
If you are unable to submit a periodic reinvestigation due to circumstances outside of your control, you will maintain your access to classified information. In this circumstance, you should coordinate with your security manager to submit your periodic reinvestigation as soon as possible.
I am planning to retire or separate from Federal Service (Military or Civilian). Can I submit for a new periodic background investigation prior to my retirement or separation?
Periodic reinvestigations may not be submitted if an individual is within 12 months of retirement or separation. Individuals in Special Access Programs (SAPs) should consult with their security manager/SAP security manager for additional information.
What happens if I receive an offer of employment and my background investigation is out-of-scope (overdue)?
Generally, the hiring activity will submit your required investigation. Consult with the hiring activity representative for their specific requirements.
Will my security clearance expire when I leave Federal service?
Generally, if there has not been a 24 month or more continuous break in Federal service (Military, Civilian, or Contractor employment) security clearances are reciprocally accepted throughout the Federal Government. If you have had a 24 month or more continuous break in Federal service, hiring activities will submit you for a new background investigation and security clearance.
Will I still have access to classified information when I retire or separate from Federal service (Military, Civilian, or Contractor employment)?
You will be debriefed from classified information upon your retirement or separation from Federal service. The Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS), the DoD system of record for security clearances, will be updated to remove your access to classified information. Your security clearance eligibility will not be affected and will remain documented in the JPAS. The JPAS is used by DoD security personnel and DoD contract company security personnel to validate an individual’s security clearance.
How do I maintain my access to classified information after I retire or separate from Federal service?
If you receive an offer of employment for a position that requires a security clearance, the hiring activity may request that your accesses be transferred to the hiring agency. Absent a request from the hiring activity to transfer your accesses, National and DoD policy prohibits the retention of accesses when an individual loses affiliation through separation or retirement from Federal service (Military, Civilian, or Contractor).
Do retired Flag/General Officers maintain access to classified information after retirement?
Flag/General Officers possess specific institutional knowledge about DoD/Army programs and are often called upon to support specific projects/missions after they retire. In this scenario, an active duty Flag/General Officer may determine that there is a compelling reason to grant a retired Flag/General Officer access to classified information in connection with a specific program or mission. General Officers should consult with their supporting Security Manager, General Officer Management Office, or Human Resources Command Security Office for additional information.