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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

General

  • FERCCA is the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act. It is a law that addresses the long-term harm to retirement planning created when employees are put in the wrong retirement plan.

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  • We believe that the number of employees in the wrong retirement plan is very small. Agencies have discovered and corrected many retirement coverage errors. However, we are certain some employees still are in the wrong retirement plan.

    If you have not worked for the Federal Government continuously since 1983, or you have had changes in appointment types and retirement plans, then you may want to ask your agency to review your retirement coverage to ensure that it is correct.

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  • It depends on what your retirement coverage error was and how long you were in the wrong retirement plan. FERCCA may provide you one or all of the following:

    • You may have an opportunity to choose another retirement plan;
    • You may be reimbursed for certain out-of-pocket expenses you paid as a result of a coverage error;
    • You may benefit from certain changes in the rules about how some of your Government service counts toward retirement; and
    • You may be able to make-up contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan and get lost earnings on those contributions as well.
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  • Yes, if you have been in the wrong retirement plan for at least 3 years of service AFTER December 31, 1986.

    It does not matter that your agency may have already corrected the error or that you have retired or no longer work for the Government. As long as the error was in effect for at least 3 years of your Federal service after December 31, 1986, then you may benefit from FERCCA.

    FERCCA may also affect you if you were put in FERS by mistake and can make, or made, what we call a "deemed FERS election". You don't have to be in FERS for at least 3 years to benefit from FERCCA. See the question, My agency put me in FERS by mistake. When it discovered the error, my agency let me choose whether I wanted to remain in FERS. Do I get another choice under FERCCA? for an explanation.

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  • As long as your retirement coverage error was in effect for at least 3 years of your Federal service after December 31, 1986, then you may benefit from FERCCA. It does not matter that you have retired or no longer work for the Government.
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  • Yes. FERCCA does not give you a choice about your retirement plan if:

    • If your agency corrected your records to FERS when it discovered an error and you later separated and took a refund of all FERS retirement deductions, or
    • If you belonged in FERS and your agency corrected your records when it discovered the error and you chose to withdraw your TSP contributions. See the question, I belonged in FERS. My agency discovered the mistake and corrected my records. I withdrew my TSP contributions. Can I now make an election under FERCCA? for the kinds of withdrawals that will prevent you from having a choice of retirement plans under FERCCA, or
    • If you received a payment ordered by a court or provided as settlement of a claim for losses resulting from a retirement coverage error, you may not make an election under FERCCA unless you repay the amount you received or OPM waives repayment.

    You also do not have a choice about your retirement coverage if:

    You are in:

    And you belong in:

    Your coverage must be corrected to:

    CSRS Offset CSRS CSRS CSRS CSRS Offset CSRS Offset Social Security-Only CSRS CSRS CSRS Offset CSRS Offset FERS FERS
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  • Retirees have the same choices under FERCCA that active employees have.

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  • If you are erroneously covered by FERS and you choose to move out of FERS, FERCCA allows you to keep the employee contributions you made in your TSP account (plus the earnings attributable to your contributions) even if the contributions exceed 5 percent of the basic pay you earned for the pay period that contributions had been made. However, all Government contributions that were made to your account and the attributable earnings must be removed from your account if you do not choose FERS.

    If you choose FERS coverage under FERCCA, you may make up those employee contributions that you could have made had you been correctly covered by FERS, as provided by the current TSP error correction legislation. In addition, you will receive the agency automatic (1%) contributions and agency matching contributions that you should have received had you been correctly covered by FERS. Finally, you will receive lost earnings on both your employee and agency make-up contributions. (Prior to FERCCA, lost earnings were payable only on agency make-up contributions.) The lost earnings on both employee and agency contributions will be determined the same way lost earnings are now determined on agency make-up contributions (that is, as provided by the current TSP regulations).

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  • If an employee, former employee, or retiree would have had a choice under FERCCA but died before making an election, then the survivor can make that election instead.

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  •  

    Yes. You can get lost earnings on the make-up contributions you already made to your TSP account, if you decide to stay in FERS. You cannot get lost earnings if you choose CSRS Offset coverage over FERS.

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