Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)
FESA will let you know how much your monthly income will be
at retirement.

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)

As a Federal employee, you are eligible for FERS if any of these categories applies to you:

  • If your initial career appointment was January 1, 1984, or later; or
  • If your initial career appointment was prior to January 1, 1984, but then you subsequently had a break in service of 366 days or more and had less than 5 years of creditable civilian service prior to January 1, 1987; or
  • If you are a career employees and you elected to be covered by FERS (instead of CSRS).

Basic Formula
The amount of your annuity is simply 1 percent of the high-3 average pay multiplied by total creditable service*. However, if you retire after age 62 and you have at least 20 years of creditable service, the annuity is 1.1 percent of the high-3 average pay multiplied by total creditable service*.

*Service is simply the number of years you have been employed by the Federal Government.  However, the rules can get quite complex if your work history is not straightforward (e.g., you have incurred breaks in service, or moved branches, or changed your work status, etc.)  In general, military service results in a military annuity which is additional to the FERS annuity, which means that military service counts towards the military annuity, but that service is EXCLUDED from the FERS annuity.  However, if it works to your benefit, you have the option to waive your military annuity and also make a contribution to “buy back” your military service to be included in your FERS annuity.

You may also be eligible for an annuity supplement from the plan if you meet certain conditions.

Immediate Annuity
You are eligible for optional retirement and an immediate unreduced annuity if you meet one of the following combinations of age and service:

  • You are at least age 62 with 5 years of creditable civilian service
  • You are at least age 60 with 20 years of creditable service including 5 years of creditable civilian service
  • You have achieved the minimum retirement age (MRA*) with 30 years of creditable service including 5 years of creditable civilian service

*The MRA depends on your year of birth, according to the following table:

Year of BirthMRA
Before 194855 Years
194855 Years and 2 Months
194955 Years and 4 Months
195055 Years and 6 Months
195155 Years and 8 Months
1952 55 Years and 10 Months
1953-196456 Years
196556 Years and 2 Months
196656 Years and 4 Months
196756 Years and 6 Months
196856 Years and 8 Months
196956 Years and 10 Months
1970 and After57 Years

If you meet the minimum retirement age; andIn addition to the immediate unreduced annuity above, you may choose an immediate reduced annuity under the following conditions:

  1. You have at least 10 years of creditable service including 5 years of creditable civilian service

Note:  If you choose a reduced, your annuity is reduced by 5 percent per year for every year that you are under age 62. This is prorated on the basis of 5/12 of 1 percent for every full month.

Deferred Annuity
You are eligible for a deferred annuity if you separate prior to qualifying for an immediate annuity and you have at least 5 years creditable civilian service.

If you have at least 5 years of creditable service, the deferred annuity may begin the first day of the month following the month in which you attain age 62. If you have at least 10 years creditable service, including 5 years creditable civilian service, the annuity may begin as early as the first day of the month following the month in which you attain the minimum retirement age (see above.)  These annuities may be subject to a reduction based on the table above.

Survivor Benefits
This type of annuity provides you with a reduced annuity payments and, upon your death, provides your current and/or former spouse(s) with survivor annuity payments. An annuity with full survivor benefits to your current spouse is automatic if you are married at retirement unless your current spouse consents to a different election.

Reduction in annuity to cover survivor benefits
The reduction to your annuity is 10 percent if you choose a full survivor annuity of 50 percent. The reduction is 5 percent if you choose a partial survivor annuity of 25 percent.

Employee Costs for FERS
If you were hired before 2013, you will have .8% percent of your paycheck deducted and withheld as your contribution to the retirement plan.  (Note: Prior to 1988, the amount was 1.3%, and during 1988 and 1989 it was .94%).

If you were hired during 2013 (or rehired after a break in service during 2013), your deduction is 3.1% of your base pay.

If you were hired on or after January 1, 2014, (or rehired after a break in service in or after 2014,) the deduction is 4.4% of your base pay.