Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)

About the Civil Service Retirement System

The CSRS was created in 1920 to provide a means for civil servants to financially survive post-employment. It was eventually replaced by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1987. Federal employees hired in 1984 and thereafter were automatically enrolled in FERS. 

CSRS was specifically designed for those who worked in a federal career their entire lives, and unlike FERS that has three retirement-earning components (pension, social security, and Thrift Savings Plan), CSRS only has one: the pension plan. Employees contribute a percentage of their pay that is matched by their employing agency. 

Members covered by CSRS have different retirement scenarios that are primarily based on their age and duration of employment in civil service. Based on these two factors, there are four possible retirement scenarios:

  • Retirement with an immediate, full pension
  • Retirement with an immediate, reduced pension
  • Retirement with a deferred, full pension
  • Retirement with a deferred, reduced pension

*note: There are special requirements for disability-based retirement benefits.

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