Wrong retirement system?


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.


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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