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What are the mandatory deductions from salary?

For CSRS employees, the civil service retirement deduction is 7 percent of pay subject to the deduction. For CSRS Offset employees, the deduction is 0.8 percent.

For FERS employees, the deduction is 0.8 percent for those hired before 2013. It is 3.1 percent for those first hired, or rehired after a break in service, in 2013, and 4.4 percent for those first hired, or rehired after a break in service, after 2013—except that it is 0.8 percent for those who on rehiring had at least five years of prior creditable or potentially creditable (such as through transfer from another eligible federal retirement system) civilian service. (Note: Higher levels of required contributions do not apply to CSRS employees who, on returning to government after a break in service, elect FERS coverage.)

Under each system, employees covered by the special retirement provisions for air traffic controllers, firefighters, and law enforcement officers pay an additional 0.5 percentage points

The Social Security FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax of 6.2 percent applies to the wages of FERS and CSRS Offset employees up to the annual Social Security taxable maximum ($118,500 in 2015). Above that threshold, CSRS Offset employees pay a 7 percent deduction but the money goes into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, not the Social Security Trust Fund. FERS employees pay only their civil service portion above the maximum wage base. CSRS employees do not pay into Social Security.

A Medicare deduction of 1.45 percent of salary applies under all retirement systems with no limitation on salary.

Withholding for federal income tax and for state and local taxes (if applicable) also is standard. Exact rates are at an individual’s choice.


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