Federal Employees Retirement System

FERS became a factor when the majority of federal civilian workers first hired after 1983 were automatically covered. After December 31, 1983, federal employees were covered by FERS.

Definition & Usage

FERS was created from Congress’s decision to expand Social Security coverage to federal employment, beginning in 1984.  FERS benefits are primarily added to Social Security benefits, with the exception of permanently and totally disabled workers, for whom the benefits are coordinated.

 In designing FERS, Congress continued the practice of providing salary/wage insurance for a full range of events that workers may encounter during a normal career. Benefits are provided for normal retirement as well as certain situations, such as, disability and involuntary retirement due to a reduction in force or an offer of early retirement.

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 can also make a matching contribution. These contributions may be tax-deferred. The Thrift Savings Plan is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.


There are four categories of benefits in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Basic Benefit Plan:

  • Immediate
  • Early
  • Deferred
  • Disability

FERS employees who leave before retirement eligibility are, like CSRS employees, eligible for deferred retirement if they meet certain conditions.

More information about the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) can be found in the Federal Employees Almanac, which can be requested by simply contacting one of our Licensed Benefits Specialist using the form below.

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