CSRS Offset and FERS


Q: I have over 30 years of federal service — military plus civil service. From 1977 to 1990, I was under the Civil Service Retirement System. Then I took a 2 1/2-year break from federal employment. When I came back into civil service, I was put under the Federal Employees Retirement System. When I returned to civil service after the 2 1/2-year break, shouldn’t I have remained under CSRS instead of being placed under FERS?

A: As a rule, when you returned to work for the government, you should have been placed in CSRS Offset (CSRS and Social Security), with the option of transferring to FERS. The first thing you need to do is contact your personnel office to determine if an error has been made. You can also call the Office of Personnel Management at 1-888-767-6738 for information about erroneous enrollments and/or go online at http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fercca/index.asp.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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