There are five categories of benefits under the Civil Service
Retirement System (CSRS). CSRS Eligibility is based on your age and the
number of years of creditable service and any other special
requirements. In addition, you must have served in a position subject to
CSRS coverage for one of the last two years before your retirement. If
you meet one of the following sets of requirements, you may be eligible
for an immediate CSRS retirement benefit. An immediate annuity is one that
begins within 30 days after your separation.
You must retire
under special provisions for air traffic controllers or law
enforcement and firefighter personnel. Air traffic controllers can
also retire at any age with 25 years of service as an air traffic
Your agency must
be undergoing a major reorganization, reduction-in-force, or
transfer of function determined by the Office of Personnel
Management. Annuity is reduced if under 55.
Your separation is
involuntary and not a removal for misconduct delinquency.
You must be
disabled for useful and efficient service in your current position
and any other vacant position at the same grade or pay level within
your commuting area and current agency for which you are qualified.
Must be prior to retirement, or within one year of separation,
except in cases of mental incompetence.
If you leave Federal service before you meet the age and service requirements
for an immediate retirement benefit, you may be eligible for
benefits. To be eligible, you must have at least 5 years of creditable civilian
service and be age 62.
NOTE: Use the first business day of the month
following your 62nd birthday for the commencing date on your application.
All benefits are retro-active to that date. If you neglected to apply at
age 62 you will receive a lump sum payment for the
time between the
commencing date and the date you apply. For example, if you apply at age 65
you would receive a lump sum payment for 3 yrs.
To collect your deferred annuity you will have to complete
OPM form 1496A
(Revised May 2012)
and send it to the address listed on the form.
The form has 9 pages of detailed instructions and general information about
eligibility and payments, print it out for detailed guidance.
Contact OPM directly
if you need assistance or to obtain a copy of this form with your service
dates. The first part of the form is completed by OPM and includes a summary
of your federal service. To estimate the amount of the CSRS annuity and/or the amount of the refund of
the retirement contributions go to the CSRS annuity
page. There is no reason to delay applying for the annuity beyond age 62. If you withdraw the funds, consider placing the money in a Roth or Traditional IRA with potential
for growth. If you decide on the CSRS annuity - the
annuity will not increase by
waiting beyond the date you are first eligibility for the annuity.
OPM advises that to apply for deferred retirement
benefits, wait until 60 days prior to your 62nd birthday
and then contact OPM for an “Application for Deferred Retirement”. OPM
can be reached by calling toll-free 1 (888) 767-6738, or writing to: Office
of Personnel Management, PO Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017.
All requests need to include your name, other names used while employed,
current mailing address, Social Security number, date of birth, dates of
service, and, the retirement system you contributed to, if known. If you
choose to use e-mail, please keep in mind that there are risks associated
with sending personal information over non-secure networks on the Internet.
Contact OPM for assistance.
Return to Eligibility
Go to Annuity