Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)
Detailed information on this topic can be found at: http://www.opm.gov/retire/index.aspx or by contacting a member of the Retirement and Benefits Staff by calling (301)504-1512.
CSRS is limited to those who initially entered the Federal Civilian service prior to 01/01/84 and who have been continuously employed without a break in CSRS coverage in excess of 365 days since 12/31/83.
Employees contribute 7.00% of their basic pay for CSRS retirement and 1.45% to Medicare.
Eligibility for Retirement
Employees must meet one of the age and service requirements (see below). The employee must have at least 5 years of creditable civilian service and the employee must be covered by CSRS for at least 1 year within the 2 year period immediately preceding the separation on which the annuity is based. The 1 year of service does not have to be continuous. The year of service does, however, have to be covered service. An employee cannot meet the requirement by paying a deposit for non-deduction service. The employee must be separated from a position covered by retirement deductions.
2. Early Optional (RIF, Transfer of Function, Special OPM Authority)
3. Discontinued Service (involuntary separation for other than conduct or delinquent)
6. Law Enforcement/Firefighter
Rules vary for allowing credit for prior Federal service. Generally, however, creditable service is as follows. Also see Civilian Deposits/Redeposits and Military Deposits for more information.
Civilian Service - Federal civilian service during which CSRS contributions were withheld.
Military Service - Active duty in the uniformed forces of the United States performed on a full- time basis.
Non Deduction Service - Federal civilian service during which no Civil Service Retirement contributions were withheld.
Refunded Service - Federal civilian service during which CSRS contributions were withheld and later refunded to the employee.
NOTE: If payment is made for all service (military and civilian), full credit is given for title to a retirement benefit and in the computation of that benefit. Payment can be made by using SF-2803 to apply to make service credit payment.
In general - Non-deduction service performed before October 1, 1982, is creditable for title to and in the computation of the retirement benefit. However, if the employee does not make a deposit to cover the service, the annual annuity is permanently reduced by 10% of the deposit due (contribution plus interest).
Non-deduction service performed after September 30, 1982, is creditable for title to a retirement benefit but no credit is given for computation purposes unless the employee pays the deposit.
If the refunded service ended before October 1, 1990, and the employee's non-disability annuity commences after December 1, 1990, the employee does not have to make a redeposit to receive credit for the refunded service. Credit will be allowed for title to and computation of the retirement benefit. However, the annuity will be actuarially reduced by an amount equal to the reduction for an alternative form of annuity lump sum in the amount of the redeposits. If the refunded service ended after September 30, 1990, the employee must pay the redeposit in order to receive credit for the service in the annuity computation.
If military service was performed December 31, 1956 or before, no deposit is necessary. For an employee who has military service that was performed January 1, 1957 or later and the employee was:
1. First covered in a CSRS position before October 1, 1982, he/she will receive credit if retirement occurs prior to age 62. However, if entitled to Social Security benefits at age 62, and deposit was not made, the military service can no longer be used in the computation of the CSRS benefit. The CSRS benefit will be recalculated to exclude credit for military service. If the individual is not eligible for social security benefits, he/she will continue to receive full credit for the military service.
2. First covered in a position covered by CSRS on or after October 1, 1982, he/she must make a military service deposit in order to receive credit for military service for any purpose. Interest begins to accrue on military deposits on October 1, 1985, or 2 years after an individual is first employed (or reemployed after a period of military service) in a position subject to CSRS.
To find out more about the payment of any deposits or redeposits, please contact a member of the Retirement and Benefits Staff by calling (301)504-1512 or go to http://www.afm.ars.usda.gov/hrd/retirement/cp-servi.pdf for more information.
CSRS employees may voluntarily contribute additional money to the retirement system in increments of $25.00. Total contributions may not exceed 10% of the aggregate basic pay the employee has received as of the date any contribution is made. Voluntary contributions earn a variable interest rate. Interest credited to each voluntary contribution account is compounded annually as of December 31. Several choices exist regarding voluntary contributions:
- Take a refund as an employee
- Take a refund upon retirement
- Purchase an additional annuity
Each $100 in voluntary contributions provides an additional annual annuity of $7.00, plus $.20 for each full year the retiree is over age 55 at the time the annuity begins.
Retirement Computation for CSRS
The amount of the annuity benefit depends on:
1. High-3 average pay (the "high-3 average pay" is the largest annual rate resulting from averaging an employee's rates of basic pay in effect over any period of 3 consecutive years of creditable civilian service, with each rate weighted by the length of time it was in effect) and
2. Length of creditable service for computation purposes which also includes sick leave hours documented as of date of retirement.
1.50 X High-3 X 5 (first five years of service)
1.75% X High-3 X 5 (next five years of service)
2.00% X High-3 X (remaining number of years of service)
If you become disabled during the course of your Federal career, you may be entitled to a disability annuity under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). First, you must complete at least 5 years of Federal civilian service. Second, while employed in a position covered under CSRS, you must have become disabled for "useful and efficient service" in both your current position and any other vacant position at the same grade or pay level for which you are qualified. For more information, please contact a member of the Retirement and Benefit Staff at (301-504-1512).
Death benefits are payable upon the death of an employee. For a monthly survivor annuity benefit to be payable, a deceased employee must have:
Completed at least 18 months of creditable civilian service; and
Died while subject to CSRS deductions.
If there is no survivor entitled to a monthly survivor annuity benefit, the total lump-sum credit in the retirement fund is payable to the person(s) entitled under the normal order of precedence.
Detailed information on any of these topics may be found at:http://www.opm.gov/retire/index.aspx. If you have questions or need assistance please contact a member of the Retirement and Benefits Staff at (301)504-1512.
Last Updated: 05/12/2009