Although Gallaudet is a private institution, by an Act of Congress, the University is able to participate into two Federal retirement programs - the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Employees who were hired prior to January 1, 1984 were enrolled into CSRS. By law, CSRS-covered employees are excluded from Social Security coverage and do not pay Social Security payroll taxes. In 1983, there were amendments to the Social Security Act. Among the changes was a mandatory Social Security coverage for most employees hired after December 31, 1983. As a result, the CSRS was replaced with the FERS and required all new employees hired after December 31, 1983, to be convered by Social Security. Employees covered under CSRS were given the option to remain with CSRS or to transfer to FERS.
Employees who were covered under CSRS prior to 1984, left, and later return to Gallaudet or to Federal service, are eligible to re-enter CSRS if they had at least five years of creditable service. However, if the break in service is longer than one year, the employee becomes covered by Social Security. These employees are considered "CSRS Offset," meaning that CSRS benefits are offset by Social Security benefits. Returning employees who are eligible for re-entry into CSRS, either with or without Social Security coverage, may choose total coverage under FERS as long as the election is made during the first six months after rehire. Employees without five years of creditable service under CSRS are automatically enrolled into FERS with previous service credited under the FERS program.
CSRS employees contribute 7% of their basic pay towards the Civil Service Retirement Fund.
For more information on each plan, please see below:
- Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and CSRS Offset
- Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan that is available to all Gallaudet employees. Each pay period, Gallaudet University deposits 1% of basic pay into each FERS employee's TSP account. FERS employees can also make their own contributions and will receive matching contributions of the first 5% of pay that they contribute each pay period from Gallaudet University. These contribution are tax-deferred. For more information, please visit the TSP website.
For all new hires or for those who need a refresher on the Thrift Savings Plan, watch this video (with captions).