Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

CSRS Offset

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Q. I started with the federal government on Aug. 18, 1986. I was recently reviewing my personnel records and noticed that from that day until Dec. 31, 1986, my retirement plan was listed on my SF-50 as CSRS Offset. Then on Jan. 1, 1987, it was changed to FERS. Were individuals who entered federal employment on Aug. 18, 1986, automatically changed to FERS the following January, or were employees given the choice to choose between CSRS Offset and FERS?
A. Because you had fewer than 5 years of CSRS service before January 1, 1987, you were automatically converted to FERS, as required by law. Since the retirement deductions for CSRS Offset and FERS were the same, the transition was seamless.

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