New FERS rates


Q: It has leaked out that FERS may be paying 5.8 percent instead of 0.8 percent toward retirement. What about Congress, law enforcement and other categories?

A: The National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform recommended that the amount FERS employees and their employers contribute to the retirement fund be equalized. In other words, both would pay the same amount instead of the employer paying the bulk of the money needed to fund FERS employee retirement benefits. If that were done, the contribution rate for most FERS employees would jump from 0.08 percent to 4.15 percent. The rate for others covered by FERS, including special category employees and the staff and members of Congress, would he higher. Although no action was taken on that proposal, the House on April 15 voted 235-193, mostly along party lines, to approve House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s fiscal year 2012 budget resolution (H Con Res 34), which would have the effect of raising FERS employee contributions to 5.8 percent. The Senate is not expected to go along with it.


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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

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