Finding the Benefits and Eligibility for CSRS Retirement
There are not too many federal workers who are part of the CSRS now. The workers who are part of it are close to retirement age, or have already reached it.
When you’re under CSRS, workers have the option to retire right away if they meet the service and age requirements They are as follows: the worker must be 55 years of age and have served for 30 years; 60 years of age and served for 20 years; 62 years of age and served for 5 years. Under certain conditions, you can retire even earlier. Some examples of situations like this include during a reorganization, reduction-in-force, you’re given the chance to leave by your agency, or a transfer of function.
If you’re allowed to retire early under one of these, you can be a minimum of 50 years of age and you must have served for 20 years. But you can retire at any age if you’ve served for 25 years. Those who take retirement early will have a 1/6 of 1% reduction in their annuity per month until they’ve reached 55 years of age. That comes out to a 2% reduction for each year. However, this system was made unavailable to new applicants who got hired after 1984. That is why most of today’s CSRS workers don’t have this.
To figure out the retirement annuity of CSRS, you can compute it as follows:
1.5% * your high-3 * service for 5 years, +
1.75% * your high-3 * total years and months served from 5-year mark to 10-year mark, +
2% * your high-3 * total years and months served after 10 years.
“Your high-3” means the average amount of your highest 3 years served consecutively (78 basic pay periods that were bi-weekly). Your retirement eligibility is dependent on your years served and your age.
Under this formula, your earned amount of annuity is given. This amount cannot be over 80% of your high-3. When you have sick leave that you didn’t use, it won’t help give you retirement eligibility. Instead, your sick leave gets added to the number of served years while making your annuity increase. If your sick leave has added up to 174 hours of credit, then it’ll count as one month added to your service record.
Lastly, your annuity will receive a cost-of-living adjustment once you are retired. The adjustment must be authorized, though, and it was not authorized this year. The adjustment amount depends on the annuity roll and how many months you were on there.