Federal Employees Retirement System [FERS] Law and Legal Definition

The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) refers to a retirement plan for the U.S. federal civilian employees. FERS is an annuity offering guaranteed lifetime retirement income with a survivor benefit annuity option. Retirement benefits under FERS are accumulated in three ways:

a. through Social Security benefits;

b. through a basic benefit plan for which the employee is charged a nominal amount; and

c. through a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which comprises automatic government contributions, voluntary employee contributions and matching government contributions.