CSRS versus FERS retirement

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Q. I was allowed to go back into CSRS after an 18-year break in service even though I cashed out of it in 1991, with eight years of service. I can pay the redeposit back and have 12 years of service, if that is the wise thing, but I am waiting to see if I get a permanent job when this temporary job expires in 2014. Since I am only 54, I am beginning to wonder if I should have gone back into CSRS, because if I can’t find another federal job, and it is looking difficult with the budget questions, I still have to wait till age 62 to retire in CSRS, whereas if I were in FERS, I could retire at 55. Am I missing something?

A. Unless you leave government, return, elect to be covered under FERS and redeposit the refund you took, you’re stuck. Even then, if you wanted to retire under FERS at age 55, the FERS component of your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62.

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  1. I believe you are probably CSRS-Offset, not CSRS, since you had more than a 1 yr break in service. Be glad of that, because your annuity is twice what FERS is.

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