561 General


Reference Note:

For additional material concerning the subject matter found in 561, refer to:

561.1 Scope

Subchapter 560 covers the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) only. Information concerning the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) will be covered in subchapter 580.

561.2 Administration

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the CSRS. The CSRS law, policies, and regulations issued by OPM, including those governing employee eligibility and benefits, are controlling in the event of conflict with the information contained in this subchapter.

561.3 Employees Covered

The CSRS applies to:

  1. Employees serving under a career appointment, effective before January 1, 1984.
  2. Employees who received a career appointment before January 1, 1984 and who had a break in service of less than 1 year since 1983.
  3. Employees who are rehired after 1983 with a break in service exceeding 1 year and who had performed 5 or more years of federal civilian service prior to January 1, 1987.
  4. Note: These employees are CSRS Offset employees and, therefore, also covered by the Social Security System.

  5. Employees in positions subject to the CSRS who transfer to temporary, indefinite, or other excluded positions without a break in service, or with a break in service not exceeding 3 days.

561.4 CSRS Offset

CSRS Offset employees are eligible for a CSRS annuity just as if they were covered by CSRS alone, except that the annuity payment is reduced (offset) when the employee becomes eligible for Social Security. The offset is made (even if the employee does not apply for Social Security) when the basic requirements for Social Security are met, usually at age 62. The amount of the offset is the amount of the Social Security benefits attributable to the employee’s service after 1983 covered by both CSRS and Social Security.

561.5 Exclusions

The CSRS does not apply to:

  1. Casual employees, except as provided in 561.3d.
  2. Employees serving under appointments limited to 1 year or less. (If individuals have previously served in positions in the Postal Service or other federal government agencies where they were covered by the CSRS, there must be a break of at least 4 days between such previous service and the casual or temporary appointment in the Postal Service.)
  3. Employees serving under temporary appointments pending establishment of a register or pending final determination of eligibility for permanent appointment.
  4. Employees paid on a contract or a fee basis such as mail messengers, star route contractors, and clerks in charge of contract stations.
  5. Officers–in–charge, unless they are covered in a position specified in 561.3d.
  6. Clerks in post offices in Cost Ascertainment Group (CAG) L and special delivery messengers who are in post offices in CAG H, J, K, and L.
  7. Substitute rural carriers and rural carrier relief/rural carrier associates, unless they fall under the exception specified in 561.3d.
  8. Job cleaners.
  9. Individuals hired for emergencies such as fires, floods, earthquakes, etc.
  10. Employees subject to another federal government retirement system.