Civil Service Retirement System

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The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) was organized in 1920 and has provided retirement, disability, and survivor benefits for most civilian employees in the United States federal government. Upon the creation of a new Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1987, those newly hired after that date cannot participate in CSRS. CSRS continues to provide retirement benefits to those eligible to receive them.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, it is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. Most of the country is located in central North America between Canada and Mexico. With an estimated population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.

The Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) is the retirement system for employees within the United States civil service. FERS became effective January 1, 1987, to replace the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and to conform federal retirement plans in line with those in the private sector.

CSRS is a defined-benefit plan, akin to a pension. Notably, though, CSRS employees do not participate in Social Security (unless having worked in the private sector beforehand, and then subject to penalties).

A pension is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years and from which payments are drawn to support the person's retirement from work in the form of periodic payments. A pension may be a "defined benefit plan", where a fixed sum is paid regularly to a person, or a "defined contribution plan", under which a fixed sum is invested that then becomes available at retirement age. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is usually paid in regular installments for life after retirement, while the latter is typically paid as a fixed amount after involuntary termination of employment prior to retirement.

Employees hired after 1983 are required to be covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), which is a three tiered retirement system with a smaller defined benefit (pension), Social Security, and a 401(k)-style system called the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The defined benefits of both the CSRS and the FERS systems are paid out of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, which had a projected balance of $898 billion as of September 30, 2017. [1]

In the United States, a 401(k) plan is the tax-qualified, defined-contribution pension account defined in subsection 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. Under the plan, retirement savings contributions are provided by an employer, deducted from the employee's paycheck before taxation, and limited to a maximum pre-tax annual contribution of $19,000.

Thrift Savings Plan

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a defined contribution plan for United States civil service employees and retirees as well as for members of the uniformed services. As of December 31, 2018, TSP has approximately 5.5 million participants, and more than $558 billion in assets under management; it is the largest defined contribution plan in the world. The TSP is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, an independent agency.

With changes in the determining retirement coverage of federal employees under FERS or CSRS, those employees who are later rehired that were previously covered under CSRS will retain their CSRS coverage if they meet certain service rules. In general, if rehired employees have 5 years of civilian service as of December 31, 1986, they will retain CSRS coverage. However, if the break in service is greater than 365 days, the employee is also covered under Social Security and will be deemed CSRS Offset. Overall benefits paid to CSRS or CSRS Offset employees will remain equitable based on the number of years of creditable service and CSRS formula upon retirement. CSRS and CSRS Offset employees with a break in service more than three days are also eligible to elect coverage under FERS within the first six months of rehire.

Employees who were previously covered under CSRS and do not meet the 5 year retirement coverage rule are automatically covered under the FERS upon rehire.

Employees under CSRS (and CSRS Offset) may contribute to TSP as well, but participate as a supplement to their designated pension benefit. [2] Contributions to the TSP are not matched. [3]

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In the United States, Social Security is the commonly used term for the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program and is administered by the Social Security Administration. The original Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, and the current version of the Act, as amended, encompasses several social welfare and social insurance programs.

Social Security Administration independent agency of the U.S. federal government

The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits. To qualify for most of these benefits, most workers pay Social Security taxes on their earnings; the claimant's benefits are based on the wage earner's contributions. Otherwise benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are given based on need.

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United States Office of Personnel Management United States federal government agency

The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that manages the government's civilian workforce. The agency provides federal human resources policy, oversight and support, and tends to healthcare (FEHB) and life insurance (FEGLI) and retirement benefits for federal government employees, retirees and their dependents.

Railroad Retirement Board United States government agency

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A qualified domestic relations order, is a judicial order in the United States, entered as part of a property division in a divorce or legal separation that splits a retirement plan or pension plan by recognizing joint marital ownership interests in the plan, specifically the former spouse's interest in that spouse's share of the asset. A QDRO's recognition of spousal ownership interest in a plan participant's (employee's) pension plan awards a portion of the plan participant's benefit to an alternate payee. An alternate payee must be a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent of the plan participant. A QDRO may also be entered for spousal support or child support.

For the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax or Social Security tax in the United States, the Social Security Wage Base (SSWB) is the maximum earned gross income or upper threshold on which a wage earner's Social Security tax may be imposed. The Social Security tax is one component of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) and Self-employment tax, the other component being the Medicare tax. It is also the maximum amount of covered wages that are taken into account when average earnings are calculated in order to determine a worker's Social Security benefit.

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References

  1. Budget of the United States Government, FY2019, published February 12, 2018. Office of Management and Budget, Retrieved February 15, 2018
  2. Separation and Retirement Incentives in the Federal Civil Service, Rand Corporation, ISBN   0-8330-2689-5
  3. U.S. Government Office of Personnel Management: CSRS Retirement