Q. I’ve been talking with people who are already federal employees. Some of them are covered by FERS and others by CSRS. If I’m hired, will I automatically be enrolled in FERS or will I be able to choose which system I’ll be in?

A. You won’t be offered a choice. All federal employees first hired on or after Jan. 1, 1987, and most employees first hired after Dec. 31, 1983, are automatically covered by FERS.


About Author

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


  1. Valerie Thorne on

    My Service comp date with DC Government was September 11, 1976, I was under Civil Service CSRS then went to Federal Government in 1996, i am wondering why i was brought in Federal under FERS instead of SCRS.

    • Good question. You need to go to your servicing personnel office and discuss the matter with them. If an error was made, they can help you pursue the matter under the Federal Erroneous Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA).

  2. Looking to see what is the better retirement options for a friend

    Joined the Federal workforce at age 51 and will retire at 65 (2025).

    Top avg 3 salary will be ~85K upon retirement.

    Currently the value of TSP is 44K and will continue to max the matching.

    • If he retires at age 65 with 14 years of service, his annuity will be calculated using the following formula:
      .01 X his highest three consecutive years of average pay X 14
      If his high-3 was $85,000, as you say, his annuity would be $11,900.
      At retirement he could continue to manage his TSP and take money out of it, but he could no longer contribute to it.

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