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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

What is CSRS?

CSRS stands for the Civil Service Retirement System. CSRS was created in 1920 and was the only retirement plan for most Federal civilian employees until 1984. CSRS is a defined benefit retirement plan that provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. Agencies deduct a set percentage of your basic pay (7% for most employees) and contribute a matching amount to CSRS.

The basic annuity is computed based on your length of service and the highest average basic pay you earned during any 3 consecutive years of service (know as the "high-3" average pay). For most employees, the CSRS basic benefit is computed by adding:

  • 1% of your high-3 average pay times service up to 5 years, plus
  • 1% of your high-3 average pay times years of service over 5 and up to 10, plus
  • 2% of your high-3 average pay times years of service over 20.

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