Transferring CSRS years to FERS?


Q: I am more than 55 years old, quit federal service more than 17 years ago, after 16 years under CSRS and never withdrew from my CSRS contributions. Question: If I return to work, I will be under FERS. Can I transfer CSRS money withheld into FERS and get credit in FERS “retirement benefit” calculations for the 16 years I worked under CSRS? What options are available? How many more years must I work to retire under FERS? If I work part-time, will it take longer?

A: If you returned to work for the government you would be placed in CSRS Offset (CSRS and Social Security) with the option of transferring to FERS. If you elected to be covered by FERS, you’d have a CSRS component in your annuity when you retired and that part would be calculated using CSRS rules. (CSRS time and money cannot be converted to FERS.) To be eligible to retire under CSRS, you’d need to be age 60 and have at least 20 years of service. The same is true if you transferred to FERS; however, under FERS you’d have the option of retiring at age 56, your minimum retirement age, under the MRA+10 provision. If you did, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62. Note: Each year of part-time service would be treated as if it was full-time when determining your length of service; however, a proration factor would be used to compute that portion of your annuity.


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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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