Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

FERS vs. CSRS

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Q. Why were employees being hired with the government in 1984 forced into FERS when the law was not passed by Congress until 1985? This happened to me. The old retirement system (CSRS) was available at the time and I could not select CSRS.

A. By law, almost all new employees hired after Dec. 31, 1983, were automatically covered by CSRS and Social Security. They were classified as CSRS Interim employees, because it was clear that a new retirement system was going to be developed. Every employee who had less than five years of actual service on Dec. 31, 1986 was automatically converted to FERS, when it came on line Jan. 1, 1987.

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