Program DescriptionThe Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) provides Federal employees with retirement benefits. The retirement system is a three-tiered retirement plan. The three components are:
- Social Security Benefits,
- Basic Benefit Plan, and
- Thrift Savings Plan Benefits.
The employee pays full Social Security taxes and a small contribution to the Basic Benefit Plan. The agency then adds an amount equal to 1 percent of the employee's basic pay each pay period into their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account. The employee is allowed to make tax-deferred contributions to the TSP and a portion is matched by the Government. If you leave Federal service before you meet the age and service requirements for an immediate retirement benefit, you may be eligible for deferred retirement benefits.
General Program RequirementsEligibility is determined by your age and number of years of creditable service. In some cases, you must have reached the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) to receive retirement benefits. Use the following list to determine your Minimum Retirement Age. There are four categories of benefits in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Basic Benefit Plan:
- Immediate: If you retire at the MRA with at least 10, but less than 30 years of service, your benefit will be reduced by 5 percent a year for each year you are under 62, unless you have 20 years of service and your benefit starts when you reach age 60 or later.
- Early: The early retirement benefit is available in certain involuntary separation cases and in cases of voluntary separations during a major reorganization or reduction in force.
- Deferred: If you retire at the MRA with at least 10, but less than 30 years of service, your benefit will be reduced by 5 percent a year for each year you are under 62, unless you have 20 years of service and your benefit starts when you reach age 60 or older.
- Disability: You must have become disabled, while employed in a position subject to FERS, because of a disease or injury, for useful and efficient service in your current position. The disability must be expected to last at least one year. Your agency must certify that it is unable to accommodate your disabling medical condition in your present position and that it has considered you for any vacant position in the same agency at the same grade/pay level, within the same commuting area, for which you are qualified for reassignment.