There was a FERS open season held back in 1987-88 and 1998, allowing employees with at least five years of Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) service to voluntarily transfer to FERS during one of the two open seasons. When these individuals, called TransFERS retire, they receive both a CSRS annuity and a FERS annuity. These individuals also are guided by FERS retirement eligibility policies, although they receive a CSRS annuity.
According to a number of federal employees, they did not fully understand the move from CSRS to FERS. Is there an advantage to move from CSRS to FERS? That is a hard question and it is also a highly individual question. The best way to answer the question is to line up the two benefits side-by-side and list what each offers. For instance, is the annuity payment higher for CSRS than FERS? Can you participate in TSP for both systems? What about agency contributions to the TSP? These are just a few questions one could use to evaluate each system.
I have always found it more useful for the questioner to evaluate two things and determine which one is better, rather than me saying what you should and should not do. Often times when I am asked a question and I see that the the person asking the question is really missing the bull’s eye on something that is critically important to their well-being, then I will offer a series of questions and or scenarios to get them to review the situation again.
I find that people appreciate a resolution much better when they can see how they got to the resolution. It is just like solving a problem for a kid and he gets an A on the homework without ever knowing what steps were taken to solve the problem.
P. S. Always Remember to Share What You Know.