This description has been prepared to explain the
provisions of FERS which was enacted into law in June 1986. The
system includes a basic benefit plan as well as a thrift plan,
and is designed to coordinate benefits with Social Security in
order to provide a complete retirement program.
Highlights of the program follow on the next page. More details about each of the three major parts of FERS (basic benefits, thrift, and Social Security) follow the Highlights Section. In addition, summaries of major plan provisions appear at the end of the basic benefit, thrift, and Social Security sections. If you have any questions regarding this information contact a Human Resources Specialist at (202) 225-2450.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROGRAM FOR CONGRESSIONAL EMPLOYEES Congressional employees covered by FERS will be eligible to receive benefits from three sources:
FERS Basic Benefit Plan
Thrift Savings Plan
Highlights of each plan are presented below.
BASIC BENEFIT PLAN
The FERS Basic Benefit Plan provides benefits for Congressional employees at retirement, as well as at disability. In addition, the Plan pays benefits to your spouse and children upon your death. The highlights of the FERS Basic Benefit Plan include:
You are eligible to retire and receive Ukireduced retirement benefits at age 62 with five or more years of service, age 60 with 20 or more years of service, or at your Minimum Retirement Age (55-57) with 30 or more years of service.
If you retire before age 62 and are eligible for unreduced retirement benefits, you may receive a supplemental benefit from your Minimum Retirement Age until you reach age 62 and are eligible to receive Social Security benefits.
You may retire early and begin receive voluntary reduced benefits at your Minimum Retirement Age if you have at least 10 years of service.
If you are involuntarily retired (e.g., as a result of a Reduction-in-Force), you can receive early unreduced benefits if you are at least age 50 with 20 or more years of service, or any age with 25 or more years of service.
Even if you leave Federal employment before you are eligible for retirement, you may be entitled to future benefits from the Plan provided you do not take a refund of your contributions.
If you become disabled after 18 months of service, you may be eligible to begin receiving benefits from the Plan.
If you should die after 18 months of service, benefits are payable to your spouse and eligible children.
Annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAS) for all persons receiving benefits (except retirees under age 62) help protect benefits against inflation.
Both you and your agency contribute to the FERS Basic Benefit Plan.