CSRS Overview

The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

Established in 1920, the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) predates Social Security which wasn’t established until 1935. CSRS is described as a “defined benefit contributory retirement system.”

The CSRS system applies to you if you are a federal employee hired before January 1, 1987. After that date, CSRS was replaced by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

If you’re a federal employee still covered under CSRS, you contribute from 7 percent to 8 percent of your pay into this retirement system. Your employing agency then matches your CSRS contributions.

You can further increase your earned retirement benefits by contributing up to 10 percent of your basic pay to a voluntary contribution account and/or contribute a portion of your pay to the Thrift Savings Plan Voluntary Contribution Plan (TSP). Keep in mind, there is no government “matching” contribution to your TSP under CSRS, your contributions are tax-deferred.

The CSRS system applies to federal employees who were hired before January 1, 1987. After that date, CSRS was replaced by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).