What is the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)?
Federal employees hired before January 1, 1984, were automatically covered by CSRS, which was created in 1920. CSRS covered most federal employees until the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) was enacted. Today, most federal workers are covered by FERS, in part because federal workers who were covered by CSRS had the chance to transfer to FERS during a 1987 transfer period. Like employees covered by FERS, CSRS employees may be eligible for retirement and disability benefits, and if they die, their survivors may be eligible for survivor annuities or lump-sum death benefits. CSRS employees are also entitled to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan on a limited basis.
The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)
What is the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)?
Most federal employees hired on or after January 1, 1984, are automatically covered by the FERS, a three-tier retirement system encompassing benefits provided by Social Security (tier one), the Basic Benefit Plan (tier two), and the Thrift Savings Plan (tier three).
What is the Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)?
The Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan set up to help federal civilian employees and military personnel (as of October 9, 2001) save for retirement. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, an independent government agency, administers it. The TSP is a defined contribution plan. This means that employees and service members are eligible to contribute at least part of their salary annually to the plan, and the government may match those contributions in full or in part. Contributions are invested and distributed to the employee or service member at retirement or when the employee or service member separates from government service, or distributed to the employee's or service member's survivors if the employee or service member dies.