Matching contributions


Q. I’m a CSRS employee with more than 41 years of service and plan to continue my federal employment well beyond 41 years. I understand that CSRS employees contribute 7 percent of their salary into the retirement fund and that the government matches that 7 percent contribution into the fund. I’m told that, after completing 41 years, 11 months of service, I will reach the maximum annuity benefit of 80 percent. At that point, the 7 percent retirement contributions will continue to be taken from my pay and placed into an interest bearing account to be refunded when I retire. When that happens, does the government continue to pay its matching 7 percent contribution into the interest bearing account as well?

A. As a CSRS employee, when you retire, you’ll be offered a choice. You can receive those excess contributions, plus 3 percent interest compounded annually, or use that money to purchase additional annuity. You wouldn’t be entitled to any of the matching contributions made by the government.


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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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