Government contributions to retirement fund


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. Yes, any contributions you make to the retirement fund after you’ve reached 41 years and 11 months of service will be set aside and 3 percent compounded annually. It will be returned to you with the option of purchasing additional annuity that isn’t subject to the 80 percent earned annuity limit. While the government will continue to make contributions to the fund after you’ve reached 41 years and 11 months of service, that money won’t be available to you. It will just go into the general fund of the Treasury and used to pay your annuity and those of other retirees.


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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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