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Retirement

Retirement Preparation

If you are considering retirement, there are several steps that you should take in preparation for leaving Federal service. DOE offers retirement seminars for mid career and retirement eligible employees that are very informative, contact your training representative for additional information.  You should also review your Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) to ensure that your service history is complete. Should there be any discrepancies you want to allow enough time to make any corrections.  For some employees, there may be a need to make a deposit/redeposit for creditable service, our Specialists will assist you with that process. This process can take several months to complete, depending on the circumstances, so plan ahead and do not wait until the last minute to take action.

Next, you may want to request an annuity estimate by one of our retirement specialists. Keep in mind, our staff resources are limited. The top priority for our retirement specialists is to ensure that employees' retirement packages are completed, processed, and submitted in a timely manner to facilitate punctual payments. 

You should plan to submit your Application for Retirement package thirty days prior to your effective date.  Your servicing specialists will be glad to go over these documents with you and answer any questions that you may have. Click the "Contacts" Link to find a list of HR Specialist by the organization's they service.  HR Contacts
 

The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)

The Civil Service Retirement Act, which became effective on August 1, 1920, established a retirement system for certain Federal employees.  It was replaced by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for Federal employees who first entered covered service on and after January 1, 1987.

The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) is a defined benefit, contributory retirement system.  Employees share in the expense of the annuities to which they become entitled. CSRS covered employees contribute 7, 7 1/2 or 8 percent of pay to CSRS and, while they generally pay no Social Security retirement, survivor and disability (OASDI) tax, they must pay the Medicare tax (currently 1.45 percent of pay).  The employing agency matches the employee's CSRS contributions.

CSRS employees may increase their earned annuity by contributing up to 10 percent of the basic pay for their creditable service to a voluntary contribution account.   Employees may also contribute a portion of pay to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) (external link).  There is no Government contribution, but the employee contributions are tax-deferred.

  • Eligibility – The main eligibility requirements for the common types of retirements.
  • Computation – How your retirement annuity is computed.
  • Creditable Service – Rules showing the civilian and military service that can be used to compute your CSRS retirement benefits.
  • Planning and Applying – It's never too early to start planning for retirement in order to ensure it goes smoothly. Here you will find information to help ensure your retirement starts well.
  • Types of Retirement – Learn about the age, service requirements and considerations affecting the various types of retirement.
  • Survivors – When a Federal employee dies, monthly or lump sum benefits may be payable to survivors. Learn about these Survivor benefits here.
  • Military Retired Pay – Adding military service to your civilian service.
  • Service Credit – Payment to increase your annuity for civilian service when no CSRS retirement deductions were withheld or were refunded or for military service after 1956.
  • Former Employees – Options if you leave your Federal job before becoming eligible for retirement.

The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)

Congress created the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1986, and it became effective on January 1, 1987. Since that time, new Federal civilian employees who have retirement coverage are covered by FERS.

FERS is a retirement plan that provides benefits from three different sources: a Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Two of the three parts of FERS (Social Security and the TSP) can go with you to your next job if you leave the Federal Government before retirement. The Basic Benefit and Social Security parts of FERS require you to pay your share each pay period. Your agency withholds the cost of the Basic Benefit and Social Security from your pay as payroll deductions. Your agency pays its part too. Then, after you retire, you receive annuity payments each month for the rest of your life.

The TSP part of FERS is an account that your agency automatically sets up for you. Each pay period your agency deposits into your account amount equal to 1% of the basic pay you earn for the pay period. You can also make your own contributions to your TSP account and your agency will also make a matching contribution. These contributions are tax-deferred. The Thrift Savings Plan is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

Visit the Thrift Savings Plan website or the Social Security Administration website for more information about your TSP or the Social Security portion of your retirement benefit. This website covers the Federal Employees Retirement System. Through the menu links on the left, you can find information about the following FERS retirement topics: 

  • Eligibility – The main eligibility requirements for the common types of retirements.
  • Computation – How your retirement annuity is computed.
  • Creditable Service – Rules showing the civilian and military service that can be used to compute your FERS retirement benefits.
  • Planning and Applying – It's never too early to start planning for retirement in order to ensure it goes smoothly. Here you will find information to help ensure your retirement starts well.
  • Early Retirement – Explanation of the minimum retirement age and early retirement if you agency under goes a “reduction in force” or you are involuntarily separated other than for cause.
  • Types of Retirement – Learn about the age, service requirements and considerations affecting the various types of retirement.
  • Deferred – If you are a former Federal employee who was covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you may be eligible for a deferred annuity at age 62 or the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA).
  • Survivors – When a Federal employee dies, monthly or lump sum benefits may be payable to survivors. Learn about these Survivor benefits here.
  • Military Retired Pay – Adding military service to your civilian service
  • Service Credit – Payment to increase your annuity for civilian service when no CSRS retirement deductions were withheld or were refunded or for military service after 1956.
  • Former Employees – Options if you leave your Government job before becoming eligible for retirement.