Excess contributions to CSRS


Q: With respect to the employee’s portion of contributions to the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), how are excess contributions (i.e., contributions for creditable service beyond 41 years and 11 months of creditable service) handled? It would seem logical that once an employee covered under the CSRS worked beyond 41 years and 11 months and has “capped out” at 80 percent on the service component of the Civil Service Retirement System Annuity computation, there should be no further employee deductions withheld and tendered into that system.

A: By law contributions continue to be taken from an employee’s pay even after reaching 41 years and 11 months, the point at which a CSRS annuity reaches the maximum of 80 percent. If no deposits or redeposits to the retirement fund are due when such an employee retires, he has one of two options: receive a refund of those contributions plus interest or use the refund to purchase additional annuity, which isn’t subject to the 80 percent limit.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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