Congress created the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1986, and it became effective on January 1, 1987. Since that time, new Federal civilian employees who have retirement coverage are covered by FERS.
FERS is a retirement plan that provides benefits from three different sources: aBasic Benefit Plan, Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Two of the three parts of FERS (Social Security and the TSP) can go with you to your next job if you leave the Federal Government before retirement. The Basic Benefit and Social Security parts of FERS require you to pay your share each pay period. Your agency withholds the cost of the Basic Benefit and Social Security from your pay as payroll deductions. Your agency pays its part too. Then, after you retire, you receive annuity payments each month for the rest of your life.
The TSP part of FERS is an account that your agency automatically sets up for you. Each pay period your agency deposits into your account amount equal to 1% of the basic pay you earn for the pay period. You can also make your own contributions to your TSP account and your agency will also make a matching contribution. These contributions are tax-deferred. The Thrift Savings Plan is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
For more information about TSP, see their website. See the SSA website for more information about the Social Security portion of your retirement benefit. This website covers the Federal Employees Retirement System. Through the menu links on the left, you can find information about the following FERS retirement topics:
- Eligibility – The main eligibility requirements for the common types of retirements.
- Computation – How your retirement annuity is computed.
- Creditable Service – Rules showing the civilian and military service that can be used to compute your FERS retirement benefits.
- Planning and Applying – It’s never too early to start planning for retirement in order to ensure it goes smoothly. Here you will find information to help ensure your retirement starts well.
- Early Retirement – Explanation of the minimum retirement age and early retirement if your agency under goes a “reduction in force” or you are involuntarily separated other than for cause.
- Types of Retirement – Learn about the age, service requirements and considerations affecting the various types of retirement.
- Deferred – If you are a former Federal employee who was covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you may be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62 or the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA).
- Survivors – When a Federal employee dies, monthly or lump sum benefits may be payable to survivors. Learn about these Survivor benefits here.
- Military Retired Pay – Adding military service to your civilian service
- Service Credit – Payment to increase your annuity for civilian service when no CSRS retirement deductions were withheld or were refunded or for military service after 1956.
- Former Employees – Options if you leave your Government job before becoming eligible for retirement.