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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

How do I know if I am in the wrong retirement plan?

Which retirement plan you belong in depends upon the type of appointment you have and your work history. The rules can be complicated. That's why some employees are in the wrong plan. Below are some of the common errors, broken down by retirement plan. Find your retirement plan, and see if you fit any of the situations listed. If you do, you may be in the wrong plan. But, remember there are exceptions to the general rules. You may be in the right retirement plan because you fall under one of the exceptions (like the one shown under CSRS Offset). Contact your Human Resources office. They can help you.

If your retirement plan is:
Then you may be in the wrong plan if you:
CSRS

Worked for the Government before 1984, but not on a permanent basis; or

Left Federal employment for more than a year at any time after 1983; or

Have a temporary appointment limited to a year or less, a term appointment, or an emergency indefinite appointment; orHave no Federal civilian employment before 1984; or

Do not have a career or career conditional appointment and you work on an intermittent basis. (See the work schedule block on your SF-50.)

CSRS Offset

Have a temporary appointment limited to a year or less, a term appointment, or an emergency indefinite appointment; orHave no Federal civilian employment before 1984; or

Do not have a career or career conditional appointment and you work on an intermittent basis. (See the work schedule block on your SF-50.); or

Did not work for the Government for a total of 5 years before 1987 (don't count your military service).

Exception: If you worked under CSRS, left the Government, and your agency placed you in CSRS Offset on your return, your CSRS Offset coverage is probably correct if you had 5 years Government service when you left.)

FERS

Have a temporary appointment limited to a year or less;

Do not have a career or career conditional appointment and you work on an intermittent basis; or

Have worked for the Government for at least 5 years before 1987 (not including military service) unless you elected to transfer to FERS during a FERS Open Seasons or after a break in service.

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