Q: I have a question regarding reinstatement and retirement. I began my federal career in 1982 under CSRS, and separated from employment in 2003 under a buyout. I withdrew my CSRS contribution in a lump sum upon separating. I am now thinking seriously about going back to the government. I will repay the lump sum, but which retirement plan will I be under, CSRS or FERS?
A: You will automatically be covered by CSRS Offset (CSRS and Social Security) with the option of electing to be covered by FERS. If you elect FERS, your prior CSRS service would become a component of your annuity when you retire. In other words, while the age and service requirements to retire will be under FERS rules, your annuity would have two parts, one computed under CSRS rules and the other under FERS rules.