Federal Employees' Retirement Systems Handbook for Congressional Employees

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:

  1. FERS Basic Benefit Plan

  2. Thrift Savings Plan

  3. Social Security

Highlights of each plan are presented below.


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: