What is the Civil Service Retirement System?


Quick Answer

The Civil Service Retirement System is a retirement benefit system for civilian employees that have worked for the U.S. federal government. However, employees hired after Jan. 1, 1987, receive benefits under the Federal Employees Retirement System

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Full Answer

Benefits administered by the Civil Service Retirement System include disability, retirement and survivor benefits. Employees contribute a percentage of their pay to the system and typically are not required to pay Social Security, retirement, survivor and disability taxes. Federal agencies match the contributions of employees.

The eligibility guidelines for the Civil Service Retirement System focus on five different categories. The first is optional, which provides deferred coverage for employees that leave federal service before meeting age and service requirements. Special/early optional coverage is for employees of an agency undergoing a major reorganization. Special provision retirement focuses on those that work in air traffic control, law enforcement, nuclear materials courier roles and firefighter roles. Discontinued service is for involuntarily separated employees with separations not attributed to delinquency or misconduct. Disability is for those that are disabled and unable to perform their current positions or any other positions at the same pay grade or level.

The Civil Service Retirement System continues to provide the benefits for retired civilian employees that were eligible to receive them before the introduction of the Federal Employees Retirement System.

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