Federal Employment Benefits
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) develops and oversees federal government-wide regulations and policies on the administration of leave and benefits for federal employees. Leave policies and regulations include family-friendly leave policies, the Family and Medical Leave Act, federal leave sharing programs, annual leave, sick leave, and time off for special circumstances. Each federal agency is responsible for administering leave and benefits for its own employees, subject to the rules set by OPM. Here are the leave and benefits available to federal employees at PBGC:
Annual Leave: Employees earn annual leave based on the length of their Federal service:
|Years Employed||Days Leave|
|0 to 3||13|
|3 to 15||20|
|15 and up||26|
Up to 30 days of annual leave may be accumulated and carried over for use in future years. Annual leave may be used for vacations or other personal reasons.
Family-Friendly Leave Policies: These include the Family and Medical Leave Act, Sick Leave to Care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition, Organ Donor Leave, Leave for Childbirth, Leave for Adoption, and Military Leave. More information is provided at OPM's website
Family and Medical Leave Act: Employees are entitled to a total of 12 administrative workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for (a) the birth and care of a newborn, (b) placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, (c) care of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition, and (d) a serious health condition where the employee is unable to perform the duties of his or her position.
Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS): All permanent employees hired by the government for the first time after December 31, 1983, are covered by FERS. The FERS consists of three components:
- Social Security Benefits;
- Basic Annuity Plan; and
- Tax-Deferred Thrift Savings Plan.
Employees pay full Social Security taxes and a small contribution to the Basic Annuity Plan. PBGC automatically makes a contribution of 1 percent of salary to each employee's Thrift Savings Plan account. Employees may also elect to contribute up to 15 percent of salary to the Plan with PBGC matching employee contributions up to a total of 5% of salary.
Maximum employee contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan increased by 1 percent each year for five years until 2006, when the only annual limit will be the IRS elective deferral.
Flexible Spending Accounts: The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program reimburses employees for many non-covered medical expenditures and dependent-care costs. FSAs are effective financial management tools that can stretch the disposable incomes and ensure that funds are available, when needed, to pay for out-of-pocket medical costs or dependent-care expenses of a child or parent.
Health Care Coverage: The Federal Employee's Health Benefits Program offers more than 100 plan options, including health maintenance organizations and benefit plans provided through commercial insurance companies or unions. Some are limited to certain geographic areas. PBGC contributes to the cost of the plans, and employees pay their share through payroll deductions. No medical exam is required to enroll, and there are no waiting periods.
Life Insurance: Employees may purchase life insurance coverage with part of the cost paid by the Federal government. Face value of the insurance is based on the employee's salary, and coverage includes payment for loss of limbs and eyesight and accidental death. Additional insurance is available at the employee's option.
Paid Holidays: Federal employees receive 10 paid holidays each year:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King's Birthday
- President's Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veteran's Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Pay: Most PBGC employees are paid according to the General Schedule (GS) Classification and Pay System. The Office of Personnel Management publishes current GS and Locality Pay Tables. Some professions, including most Information Technology, Auditor, Actuary, and Accountant professionals, are paid special salary rates.
Sick Leave: Sick leave may be used when an employee is ill, has a doctor, dental, or optical appointment, or when an employee needs to provide care to an ill family member. Regardless of length of service, employees earn 13 days of sick leave each year. Unused sick leave accumulates indefinitely.
Employees may use up to 104 hours (13 days) of sick leave each year to:
- care for a family member who is incapacitated by a medical or mental condition
- attend to a family member receiving medical, dental, or optical examination or treatment
- arrange for or attend the funeral of a family member
Sick Leave to Care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition: An employee may use up to 12 administrative workweeks of sick leave each leave year to care for a family member with a serious health condition, such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, severe injury, Alzheimer's disease, pregnancy, and childbirth. OPM explains the complicated administrative procedures on their website.
Voluntary Leave Transfer Program: This program permits employees to donate unused or accrued annual leave to other PBGC employees as well as employees of other Federal agencies who need such leave because of a medical emergency.