Q. Some employees who were hired into the federal service in 1984 were forced to select FERS. How can this be correct when the law was not official (signed) until a year or so later? Could they have selected the old retirement system (CSRS) rather than be forced into FERS?
A. Public Law 98-21 required all federal employees hired after Dec. 31, 1983, to be covered by Social Security. In preparation for a new retirement system, Public Law 98-168 specified that anyone hired after Dec. 31, 1983, through Jan. 1, 1986 (later extended to Dec. 31, 1986), be placed in an interim retirement system. Public Law 99-335 established the Federal Employees Retirement System. When it went into effect Jan. 1, 1987, all employees first hired after Dec. 31, 1983, were automatically covered by FERS.