Civil Service Retirement System
FESA will let you know how much your monthly income will be
at retirement.

Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)

In general, you are eligible for CSRS only if you fit one of the following criteria:

  • If you are serving under a career appointment, effective before January 1, 1984
  • If you received a career appointment before January 1, 1984 and you had a break in service of less than 1 year since 1983
  • If you are rehired after 1983 with a break in service exceeding 1 year and if you had performed 5 or more years of federal civilian service prior to January 1, 1987**

(**Note: If you qualify under this category, you are part of the CSRS Offset employees and, therefore, also covered by the Social Security System.)

If you are in a position subject to the CSRS and transfer to temporary, indefinite, or other excluded positions without a break in service, or with a break in service not exceeding 3 days.

Basic Formula
The basic annuity under the general formula is obtained as follows:

Step 1. Take: 1-1/2 percent of the high-3 average pay and multiply the result by 5 years of service*
Step 2. Add: 1-3/4 percent of the high-3 average pay multiplied by the number of years of service* between 5 and 10.
Step 3. Add: 2 percent of the high-3 average pay multiplied by all service* over 10 years.

*Service is simply the number of years you have been employed by the Federal Government. However, the rules can get quite complex if your work history is not straightforward (e.g., you have incurred breaks in service, or moved branches, or changed your work status, etc.) In general, military service results in a military annuity which is additional to the CSRS annuity, which means that military service counts towards the military annuity, but that service is EXCLUDED from the CSRS annuity. However, if it works to your benefit, you have the option to waive your military annuity and also make a contribution to “buy back” your military service to be included in your CSRS annuity.

After performing Step 3 above, the resulting amount is the amount you will receive as an annuity from the time you retire until your death. If you are married, you are entitled to receive an annuity with survivor benefits, which will pay your surviving spouse an annuity for the rest of his or her life if you pre-decease your spouse. This annuity is slightly lower than an annuity without survivor benefits (2.5% reduction of the first $3,600, and 10% after that).

Eligibility to Retire
Immediate Annuity
To be eligible to retire and begin receiving your annuity immediately, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You must be at least age 62 with at least 5 years of creditable civilian service, or
  • You must be at least age 60 with at least 20 years of creditable service, including 5 years of creditable civilian service, or
  • You must be at least age 55 with 30 years of creditable service, including 5 years of creditable civilian service.

Deferred Annuity
You are eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62 if you meet all of the following:

  • You leave the CSRS before qualifying for an immediate annuity, and
  • You have at least 5 years of creditable civilian service, and
  • You have worked at least 1 year under the CSRS within the 2 years immediately preceding the separation on which the deferred annuity is based, and
  • You leave your retirement contributions in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

Disability Retirement
CSRS also provides for an annuity in the event of disability. Some specific criteria apply, including:

An employee must, while employed under the CSRS, become totally disabled because of disease or injury, to render useful and efficient service in the position occupied and all vacant positions in the employing agency and commuting area at the same grade or pay level and tenure to which the employee is qualified for reassignment.

You are not qualified for reassignment if:

  • The reassignment is to a position in a different craft; or
  • The reassignment is inconsistent with terms of the collective bargaining agreement covering you.

Employee Costs for CSRS
A mandatory 7% of your basic pay is deducted from your paycheck and withheld as your contribution to the retirement fund.