Does Your Security Clearance Expire When You Retire?

Career Advice CENTCOM


Separating from military service or leaving a government position? Your security clearance isn’t like a carton of milk – it doesn’t have an expiration date. Your eligibility to access classified information is based on need to know. With a backlog of nearly 700,000 pending security clearance investigations, the Department of Defense is assuring cleared personnel, their access won’t go away even if their investigation is out of date. Some periodic reinvestigations are nearly two years overdue, but the Defense Security Service is holding back submitting reinvestigations as it attempts to push through the thousands of new investigations that need to be processed.

That said, if you retire or leave military service with an investigation that’s out of date, what happens to your eligibility? Try to get your security officer to submit your reinvestigation before you separate. It may not be processed, but it should be viewable in JPAS, and that may ease your transition from military or government to government contractor.

Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.

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