Federal Employee Benefits

A Guide to Federal Employee Benefits

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The federal employee benefits set the standard for the private sector to follow. These benefits offered are considered to be family friendly and go beyond the scope of just insurance and retirement. The main components of the federal benefits focus around the following components.


Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB)

The FEHB Program, one of the primary federal employee benefits, is designed to meet the health needs of the employee and his/her family. The employees are allowed to select from a wide range of plans most of which are categorized into High Deductible and Consumer-Based plans. Employees are required to choose plans and services which are covered under the FEHB.

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)

The FERS is the federal governments retirement plan for its employees. It has three major sources:

  • Social Security
  • Basic Benefit Plan
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

The Social Security and TSP plans can be carried forward by the employee even after he/she has moved to another job.

You will be required to contribute to the Social Security and Basic Benefit every pay period. The cost of the plan will be paid from your salary as deductions, while your agency will also contribute its own part. Once you retire, you will start receiving annuity payments on a monthly basis.

Thrift Savings Plan

The TSP is controlled and managed by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. The TSP part is maintained as an account and your agency will deposit 1% of your basic pay into it, every pay period. Federal employees are also allowed to make their own contributions and the agency will match it. These federal employee benefits are tax-exempted.

Besides the FEHB and FERS there are many other types of federal employee benefits. Medicare Part A is available to the employees at age 65 at no cost. The Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) provides basic life insurance cover with 3 options – Additional, Standard and Family.

Leave & Holidays

As a federal employee, you are entitled to the following leaves and holidays:

  • Sick leave – 13 days per year
  • Vacation leave – 13/20/26 (depends on the number of years of service)
  • Paid holiday – 10 days per year

The federal government offers several family-friendly leave flexibilities to its employees. This includes flexible working schedules, family friendly leave policies, telecommuting, job sharing positions, child support services, and child or elder care information or incentives.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

One of the most popular federal employee benefits is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Its objective is to help employees achieve their full productivity. It helps provide counseling services for the identification of problems. It can also refer employees to additional services or facility for resolving such problems.

Some of the other federal employee benefits include recruitment bonus, relocation bonus, retention allowance, employee development programs, student loan repayment programs, long term care insurance program and child care subsidy program. Recruitment bonus is offered to new employees for joining a difficult-to-fill position. So as federal employee, you are among the most protected workers, not only in the country but throughout the world.

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