Skip to page content

Retirement

Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)

Employees hired before 1984 are generally members of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). CSRS is considered a "defined benefit plan" - it has specific criteria for eligibility and a formula for calculating your benefits. Your eligibility is based on your age and years of service. The formula for computing your benefits is based on your years of service, average salary, and certain percentage multipliers. You can also make contributions to the federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to build additional retirement income.

Retirement Eligibility

An annuity is a sum paid to you if you meet the requirements to retire.

Employee Withholdings

You and the agency each contribute to the retirement fund. The law sets the exact amount of retirement deductions withheld from your basic pay. We withhold the following amounts from your basic pay:

Employee Withholding Rate Chart
Description Withholding Rate
Most Employees under CSRS 7.00 percent
Air Traffic Controllers under CSRS 7.00 percent

You can also take advantage of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) by contributing up to ten percent of your basic pay.

Voluntary Retirement

You are eligible for voluntary retirement with an immediate annuity and no reductions for age if you:

  • Have at least five years creditable civilian service
  • Are separated from a position subject to CSRS coverage
  • Are covered by CSRS for at least one year in the two-year period immediately before separation
  • Meet any of the following age/service combinations:*
    Age and service combinations chart
    Age Years of Service
    55 30
    60 20
    62 5

    *Special retirement provisions apply to Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and Air Traffic Controllers for early retirement if certain occupation criteria are met.

Deferred Annuity

You are entitled to a deferred annuity at age 62 if you:

  • Resigned from federal employment
  • Leave retirement contributions in the retirement fund
  • Have at least five years creditable civilian service
  • Are separated from a position subject to CSRS coverage
  • Are covered by CSRS for at least one year within the two-year period immediately before the separation

Disability Retirement Annuity

You are eligible for disability retirement annuity after you complete five years of creditable civilian service. Other conditions must also be met.

Air Traffic Controllers

There are specific retirement provisions and requirements for Air Traffic Controllers under CSRS. You are eligible for a special Air Traffic Controller Retirement if you:

  • Are age 50 with 20 years of service
  • Are any age with 25 years of service
  • Are in a designated position requiring your participation in the separation and control of air traffic in providing preflight, in-flight, or airport advisory service to aircraft operators or as an immediate supervisor

Your annuity is computed similarly to regular retirement but may not be less than 50 percent of your average pay, assuming that your contributions are in the retirement fund. There is a mandatory retirement age of 56.

Survivor Annuity

Your spouse, children, or former spouse may get Survivor Annuity benefits if you die while subject to CSRS deductions after completing at least 18 months of creditable civilian service.

More Information

For additional information about the CSRS, visit the Office of Personnel Management CSRS website.

Civil Service Retirement System Offset (CSRS Offset)

Civil Service Retirement System Offset (CSRS Offset) is a version of CSRS established for employees who:

  • Became subject to Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) taxes
  • Typically had a break in service of over 365 days and retired after 1983
  • Completed at least 5 years of creditable service under the CSRS

You pay Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) taxes and a reduced contribution to the retirement fund under CSRS Offset. The CSRS retirement and survivor benefits are balanced by the value of the offset service in your social security benefit.

Retirement Eligibility

An annuity is a sum paid to you when you meet the requirements to retire. You must meet certain basic requirements to be qualified for an annuity.

Employee Withholdings

The law sets the exact amount of retirement deductions withheld from your basic pay. Currently, we withhold the following:

Age and Service combinations
Description Withholding Rate
Most Employees under CSRS Offset .80 percent
Social Security 6.2 percent
Air Traffic Controllers under CSRS .80 percent

Your deduction rate reverts to the full CSRS withholding rate (7 percent) when your basic pay reaches the social security maximum taxable wage base in a calendar year.

You can also take advantage of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) by contributing up to ten percent of your basic pay.

Voluntary Retirement

You are eligible for a voluntary retirement with an immediate annuity with no reductions for your age if you:

  • Have at least five years creditable civilian service
  • Are separated from a position subject to CSRS coverage
  • Are covered by CSRS or CSRS offset for at least 1 year within the 2-year period immediately preceding separation
  • Meet any of the following age/service combinations:*
    Age and Service Combinations
    Age Years of Service
    55 30
    60 20
    62 5

*There are special retirement provisions that allow Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, and Air Traffic Controllers to retire earlier if certain occupation criteria are met.

Deferred Annuity

You are entitled to a deferred annuity at age 62 if you resign from federal employment, leave retirement contributions in the retirement fund, and meet the following conditions:

  • Have at least five years creditable civilian service
  • Are separated from a position subject to CSRS coverage
  • Are covered by CSRS for at least one year in the two-year period immediately before your separation

Disability Retirement Annuity

You are eligible for disability retirement annuity after completion of five years of creditable civilian service.

Air Traffic Controller Annuity

There are specific retirement provisions and requirements for Air Traffic Controllers. An Air Traffic Controller covered under CSRS Offset is eligible for a special Air Traffic Controller Retirement if the following conditions are met:

  • You are age 50 with 20 years of service
  • You are any age with 25 years of service
  • Your position requires that you are engaged in the separation and control of air traffic in providing preflight, in-flight, or airport advisory service to aircraft operators or as an immediate supervisor

Assuming that your contributions are in the retirement fund, your annuity is computed similarly to a regular retirement but may not be less than 50 percent of your average pay. There is a mandatory retirement age of 56.

Survivor Annuity

Your spouse, children, or former spouse may get survivor annuity benefits if you die while subject to CSRS deductions after completing at least 18 months of creditable civilian service.

More Information

For additional information about the CSRS Offset, visit theOffice of Personnel Management CSRS website.

Page last modified:

This page was originally published at: https://www.faa.gov/jobs/employment_information/benefits/csrs/