Voluntary Contributions to Federal Employee Retirement Funds

Voluntary contributions are payments made to the retirement fund in addition to the deductions that are withheld from pay. You can make these contributions only if you are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and do not owe a deposit for a period of time when deductions were not withheld from your pay. To make voluntary contributions, you should submit a Standard Form 2804 to your employer.

You can make voluntary contributions in multiples of $25. Total contributions cannot exceed 10 percent of your pay.

You can purchase additional annuity of $7 per year for each $100 of voluntary contributions, plus 20 cents for each full year you are over age 55 when you retire. By electing to take a reduction in the additional annuity, you can also purchase additional annuity for a surviving spouse who may receive a benefit after your death.

Interest is paid on voluntary contributions at the rate of three percent annually until December 31, 1984. After that date, a variable interest rate is compounded annually on December 31st until service ends or a refund is paid. The table of variable interest rates under “Interest Rates” in the Glossary of terms at Appendix B of the Federal Retirement Handbook.

You can use voluntary contributions you made while working under the Civil Service Retirement System to purchase additional annuity when you retire or you can withdraw the contributions in a one-time payment. Most people want to withdraw their voluntary contributions in a one-time payment. If the interest due exceeds more than $200, you can roll the funds into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or other qualified retirement plan to defer income tax.

If you want to withdraw your voluntary contributions, you should submit either a Form RI 38-124 or Standard Form 2802 with the statement in item number seven, “I want only my voluntary contributions to be refunded to me.” You can get these forms from your employer. You should submit your request at least 60 days before your expected retirement.

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