As a federal employee, if you were actively employed on or before December 31, 1983 by the government, then you’re covered under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)1. This is a defined benefit program secured by the political commitment of the United States federal government and any changes to this system can only happen through legislation.

Retirement pension benefits are based primarily on the following criteria:

  • High-three average salary: This is the highest three years of average annual pay produced by an employee’s basic pay during any three consecutive years.
  • Length of service: This is the time a federal employee has actively contributed to the pension program.

Retirement benefits are awarded when necessary age and years of service requirements are met. If an employee decides to leave prior to their age or service requirements, every pension check will receive a subsequent 2-percent reduction per year. Civil service employees are able to leave a maximum of 55 percent of their pension to their spouse when they pass. By providing a survivor benefit to their spouse, the employee is protecting their spouse from their lack of income.

The Civil Service Retirement System is meant to be a single-tiered benefit program. A retiree will receive a single check from the CSRS. The employee may be eligible to receive Social Security depending on numerous factors, but the years spent in the CSRS are not eligible for Social Security credits, as there was nothing deducted for Social Security during that period of time. In order to discover your retirement eligibility, what your pension benefit may be, and if you are eligible for Social Security, click here.

Please note: those employees who had started as a federal employee prior to 1984, but had a break in service and returned to full-time work after December 31, 1984, will be classified as a Civil Service Offset. These employees will begin paying into Social Security upon returning. Then after reaching retirement, they will receive their Civil Service pension check until their Social Security benefits start. Therefore, their Civil Service pension check will be offset by the amount of Social Security received.

1https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf

Receive Your Federal Benefit Workbook

Please fill out the form to the right with your information to receive your personalized federal benefit workbook.  This workbook will help you understand when you are eligible to retire, compute your monthly pension, show you how Social Security works and explain the options available to you with FEGLI and TSP.

By providing your information, a licensed insurance representative may contact you.