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RETIREMENT BENEFITS - Permanent Employees Only

Retirement Information (OPM):
FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System)

The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is a three-tiered retirement plan and covers most federal employees hired after 1984. The three components are Social Security, the Basic Benefit Plan and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). You pay full Social Security taxes and a small contribution to the Basic Benefit Plan.

In addition, your agency puts an amount equal to 1% of your basic pay each pay period into your TSP account. You are also able to make tax-deferred contributions to the TSP and a portion of that amount is matched by the Government.

The three components of FERS work together to give you a strong financial foundation for your retirement years. Benefits are generally available upon retirement at age 60 with 20 years of service or at an earlier age with 30 years of service. Reduced benefits may be available with fewer years of service.

CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System)
The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) was established in 1920 as a comprehensive system of entitlements granting Federal workers a full range of pension benefits. Most Federal employees hired prior to 1984 are covered by CSRS.

Employees who did not elect FERS coverage and who have no breaks in service since 1/1/84, remain covered by CSRS. Most CSRS employees contribute 7% of base pay towards retirement and are excluded from Social Security taxes. CSRS employees may contribute a limited amount of their base pay toward the TSP, but receive no matching government contribution.
  • OPM Retirement Resource Information
  •Pamphlets (available on
  • CSRS Designation of Beneficiary
  • FERS Designation of Beneficiary
TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) (401k)
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees, similar to “401(k)” plans available to many private sector employees. The TSP exists to provide you an opportunity to participate in a long-term retirement savings and investment plan.

New employees are automatically enrolled in the TSP. The amount of your automatic contribution to the TSP each pay period is 3% of your basic pay. These contributions are deducted from your pay and are tax-deferred for Federal and, in most cases, state income tax purposes. In addition, the Judiciary will deposit Agency Matching Contributions equal to your 3% contribution. You will also receive an Agency Automatic Contribution equal to 1% of your basic pay. Between your contributions and the Judiciary’s contributions, the equivalent of 7% of your basic pay will be deposited into your TSP account each pay period.

You may elect to stop the initial automatic enrollment process, if you do not wish to contribute to your TSP account, by completing form TSP-1 and submitting it to Human Resources before the end of your first pay period of employment.

You may elect to increase, decrease, or stop your contributions to your TSP account at any time.
Please visit the TSP website for an informative booklet and more detailed information.

  TSP Forms and Publications List
  TSP-1 Election Form
  TSP-1C Catch-Up Contribution Election Form
  TSP-3 Designation of Beneficiary Form
  TSP website




last updated: 12/07/2017