Federal Employee Retirement System - FERS


DEFINITION of 'Federal Employee Retirement System - FERS'

A system that became effective in 1987 and replaced the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) as the primary retirement plan for U.S. federal civilian employees. Retirement benefits under FERS are accumulated in three ways: a) through Social Security benefits, b) through a basic benefit plan for which the employee is charged a nominal amount and c) through a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which comprises automatic government contributions, voluntary employee contributions and matching government contributions.

BREAKING DOWN 'Federal Employee Retirement System - FERS'

Retirement benefits under FERS are structured as annuities. Eligibility and payment amounts are based on age, years of service and contributions to the plan. Although less generous than CSRS was, FERS is more generous than many corporate plans.

Federal employees hired after 1983 are automatically covered by FERS, rather than CSRS.

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  1. When can catch-up contributions start?

    Most qualified retirement plans such as 401(k), 403(b) and SIMPLE 401(k) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are 401(k) contributions tax deductible?

    All contributions to qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s reduce taxable income, which lowers the total taxes owed. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are 401(k) rollovers taxable?

    401(k) rollovers are generally not taxable as long as the money goes into another qualifying plan, an individual retirement ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are catch-up contributions included in the 415 limit?

    Unlike regular employee deferrals, catch-up contributions are not included in the 415 limit. While there is an annual limit ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can catch-up contributions be matched?

    Depending on the terms of your plan, catch-up contributions you make to 401(k)s or other qualified retirement savings plans ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Though the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) carefully scrutinizes the contributions of highly compensated employees (HCEs) ... Read Full Answer >>

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