Q: My question is about the original conversion of retirement withholding, which was converted to Federal Employees Retirement System. I began working for the government in October 1984. So, I was hired as a FERS employee. In 1987, when FERS was officially set up and the money that had been withheld from our paychecks was placed in our FERS accounts, I had $660, which stayed in a Civil Service Retirement System marked account. It stayed there for many years until I switched agencies, and it was no longer listed on my Leave and Earnings Statement. My question is, what exactly is that money? I have asked this question many times over the years and no one has been able to answer it. Was it excess that should have been returned to me? Will it be credited interest if finally transferred into my FERS account? Did it just disappear into thin air? I hope to retire in the next two years and I’m hoping to have this figured out prior to leaving the government, or it probably will end up disappearing. Any ideas?
A: Because you were hired after Dec. 31, 1983, the deductions from your salary for coverage under CSRS were the same as those deducted when you were covered by FERS in 1987: 1.3 percent. Because you had fewer than five years of service under CSRS, you were automatically covered by FERS. Your CSRS time became FERS time, with your prior CSRS deductions being transferred to your FERS account. The financial outcome was a wash.