Maximizing Your Federal Employee Benefits

Maximizing your Federal employee benefits starts with you making the effort to find out first what benefits you may be eligible to receive.

As a Federal employee you will get to enjoy a wide range of benefits that are simply not available to the everyday blue collar worker. However, all the benefits in the world are not worth anything if you are not utilizing them and taking full advantage of them. Once you start maximizing your Federal employee benefits, you will quickly see why you are so fortunate to be a Federal employee.

In order to maximize your Federal employee benefits, you must first know what they are. Here are some of the most common benefits that you will enjoy as a Federal employee and how you can maximize each one:

•  Thrift Savings Account, or TSA: Your TSA account can be a great way to help you save towards retirement. Your TSA will act much like a 401k in the private sector. This means you can get a tax sheltered way to save for your retirement by putting in a certain percentage of your pay. Additionally, you will have a percentage of what you put in matched by the Federal government giving you more bang for your buck. In order to maximize your TSA, you need to carefully look at the different investment options that are available to you and then select the best course of action to take according to your risk tolerance. If you take no action then any money that you decide to put in will be automatically invested for you and while the investment vehicle will have little risk, there will be little reward to go along with that. You should also be certain to contribute as much as you can so that your employer match will be maxed out each and every year. After all, that’s like getting free money.

• Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, or FEHB: FEHB is a special type of health care coverage that will be made available to you as a Federal employee. There are many different plans that you can choose from so, in order to choose the one that is right for you and maximize the benefit, you need to do your homework. Look at each individual plan and weigh the good and the bad and relate it all to your personal circumstances. Select the plan that will cover you and your family the best for the least amount of money for total maximization.

• Federal Employees Group Life Insurance, or FEGLI: Covering over four millions Federal employees, FEGLI is the largest group life insurance coverage in the world. This coverage is usually provided for you automatically and is in the form of term coverage. So, you will not build any cash value like you would with a whole life policy, but you will be able to have the government share in the cost of the premium. To be sure that you are maximizing this benefit, be sure that you are actually a part of it. While many Federal employers will automatically make you a part of the program and begin deducting the premium cost from your paychecks unless you opt out, it is not always a guarantee. SO, you need to be certain that you are in fact enrolled in the program. Life insurance is a great way to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of even after you are gone and the FEGLI program is a wonderful way in which to take advantage of great life insurance coverage at a very low cost to you.

• Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program, or FLTCIP: FLTCIP can help you pay for the everyday things in life should you need long term care down the road for any number of reasons. While most Federal employees and their immediate family members who qualify for FEHB will usually be able to apply for the FLICIP program, not all can, so you should check and see if you will be able to do so. If you are able, then it is certainly in your best interest to participate as you never know what life can throw your way.

• Student Loan Repayments: One of the many ways that the Federal government can entice people to come to work for them is by offering to pay back some or all of their student loans. If you are applying for a Federal government job, then you should find out if this is an available benefit. Even if you already have a Federal government job, you should see if you qualify to have some or all of your student loan repaid for you.  This often overlooked benefit is a great way to reduce your debt.

• Other Benefits: There are many other benefits that you will be entitled to as a Federal employee. Some of the more prominent benefits are child care subsidies, employee development programs, retention incentives, various recruitment bonuses, paid holidays, and paid leaves. While there are many more benefits that a Federal employee enjoys, these certainly top the list.

Each benefit that you may be eligible to receive as a Federal employee will come with its own previsions. Furthermore, where you find Federal employment may help determine how many of the specific benefits are offered and how many of the specific benefits you are eligible for.

In order to take full advantage for your Federal employee benefits you should first start by asking the human resources office where you work to provide you with a list of all your available benefits. Once you have this list, take some time and comb through it. Check off what you think you may be able to take advantage of and if need be, go back into the human resources office and see if you qualify.

You may be missing out on a number of great Federal employee benefits right now. If you never look at what you have, then how will you know what you should be taking advantage of? Maximizing your Federal employee benefits starts with you making the effort to find out first what you are eligible for and then taking action to ensure that your benefits are working hard for you.

About the Author

Jason Kay is a professional resume writer and regular contributor to, a professional federal resume service and repository of sample KSA statements.