FERS or CSRS Offset?


Q. Hired as a federal employee with U.S. Secret Service (USSS, Treasury under CSRS). In 1996, transferred his total retirement funds out of CSRS. Put all of his funds into the District of Columbia Police and Firefighters Retirement and Disability Fund (DC Plan). This was done in accordance with the provisions of Public Law 85-157, 85th Congress, approved Aug. 21, 1957. This was taken while the USSS was an agency under Treasury; the option is no longer offered. In 1997, retired from the USSS under the DC Plan. Employee was never associated with FERS or paid into Social Security during that period. Employee did not have a break in service from 1976 through 1997. Employee was receiving an annuity. In 1999, employee accepted full-time federal law enforcement position with the Postal Service-USPS-OIG and was placed in FERS. Because he retired under the Metro Plan and decided to come back into the government, was the Postal Service correct in putting him in FERS? Or should the employee been put into CSRS Offset?

A. It’s my belief that the employee lost all entitlement to get credit for his prior CSRS service when he transferred his retirement funds to the DC plan and then received the benefits of that transfer when he retired. To be sure, read the information about the Federal Employees Erroneous Coverage and Corrections Act at www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fercca and at www.opm.gov/retire/bal/bal10.asp. If any doubts remain, your retirement counselor can call the Office of Personnel Management.


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.

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