Civil Service Retirement System

The Civil Service Retirement Act, which became effective on August 1, 1920, established a retirement system for certain Federal employees. It was replaced by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for Federal employees who first entered covered service on and after January 1, 1987. All new federal employees fall under FERS.

The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) is a defined benefit, contributory retirement system. Employees share in the expense of the annuities to which they become entitled. CSRS covered employees contribute 7, 7.5 or 8 percent of pay to CSRS and, while they generally pay no Social Security retirement, survivor and disability (OASDI) tax, they MUST pay the Medicare tax (currently 1.45 percent of pay). The employing agency matches the employee’s CSRS contributions.

Eligibility

There are five categories of benefits under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Eligibility is based on your age and the number of years of creditable service and any other special requirements. In addition, you must have served in a position subject to CSRS coverage for one of the last two years before your retirement. If you meet one of the following sets of requirements, you may be eligible for an immediate retirement benefit. An immediate annuity is one that begins within 30 days after your separation from service.

Optional

If you leave Federal service before you meet the age and service requirements for an immediate retirement benefit, you may be eligible for deferred retirement benefits. To be eligible, you must have at least 5 years of creditable civilian service and be age 62.

Age Years of Service
62 5
60 20
55 30

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Special Optional

Age Years of Service
50 20
Any Age 25

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Early Optional

Special Requirements: You must retire under special provisions for air traffic controllers or law enforcement and firefighter personnel. Air traffic controllers can also retire at any age with 25 years of service as an air traffic controller.

Age Years of Service
50 20
Any Age 25

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Discontinued Service

Special Requirements: Your agency must be undergoing a major reorganization, reduction-in-force, or transfer of function determined by the Office of Personnel Management. Your annuity is reduced if you are under age 55.

Age Years of Service
50 20
Any Age 25

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Disability

Special Requirements: Your separation is involuntary and not a removal for misconduct or delinquency.

Age Years of Service
Any Age 5

Special Requirements: You must be disabled for useful and efficient service in your current position and any other vacant position at the same grade or pay level within your commuting area and current agency for which you are qualified. The disability must have onset prior to retirement and should be expected to last for at least one year.

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