What benefits do federal employees receive for their service?
FedSmith has compiled an overview of the basic federal employee benefits package along with links to sources of additional information.
- Insurance Programs
- Paid Leave
A number of comprehensive benefits programs are available to federal employees. These programs are also available for retirees and survivors.
Insurance Open Season
The Federal Benefits Open Season runs from Monday of the first full Federal pay period in November to the Monday of the first full Federal pay period in December. During this period, you may enroll, change, or cancel your FEHB, FEDVIP or FSAFEDS coverage.
Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program
FEHB offers federal employees comprehensive health insurance, federal employees have 15 or more health plan choices. Each plan provides comprehensive coverage for you, your spouse, and your children under age 26. It’s competitive; your agency contributes to the premium. There are no waiting periods and no restrictions on pre-existing conditions. You can enroll during your first 60 days as a newly eligible employee, during the Federal Benefits Open Season (mid-November to mid-December), or when you have a qualifying life event such as marriage, divorce, or birth.
Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)
If you want more dental coverage than what your health plan offers, FEDVIP’s comprehensive dental insurance offers a selection of plans that can cover you, your spouse, and your unmarried dependent children under age 22 for cleanings, x-rays, cavities, orthodontics, and more.
If you want more vision coverage than what your health plan offers, FEDVIP’s comprehensive vision insurance offers a selection of plans that can cover you, your spouse, and your unmarried dependent children under age 22 for eye exams, glasses, contact lenses, and discounts on laser eye surgery.
Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI)
Federal employees can get group life insurance coverage from as little as one year’s salary to more than six years’ salary and many options in between. You can also get coverage for your spouse and eligible children.
Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)
If you cannot perform everyday tasks such as eating, dressing, and bathing because of a chronic illness, injury, disability, or aging, long term care insurance through FLTCIP can help you pay for the assistance you need. With FLTCIP, you and your eligible family members can be protected from this financial burden that can cost an average of $32,000 to $91,000 a year.
Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS)
Federal employees can use pre-tax dollars through flexible spending accounts via FSAFEDS to save on their health and dependent care expenses. It’s like getting a 30% discount for what your family spends on prescriptions, doctor visits, glasses, orthodontics, or even daycare expenses for your children.
BENEFEDS is the online benefit management portal for federal employees and uniformed service members. It is a secure online portal authorized by the government and OPM that allows you to access information about and make changes to your Federal dental and vision (FEDVIP), long term care (FLTCIP), and flexible spending (FSAFEDS) programs.
Federal employees and uniformed service members can log into their BENEFEDS accounts on the BENEFEDS.com website. Log in to your My BENEFEDS account to:
- Review your coverage details
- Make changes to your plan
- Pay your direct bill
- View your premium payment history
- Update your personal information
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the federal agency tasked with providing leadership on federal leave policies and programs for civilian federal employees.
Federal employees receive 10 paid federal holidays each calendar year. Some years there are additional holidays, such as if Christmas Eve is granted as an extra holiday or inauguration day for federal employees in the Washington, DC area following an election year.
Federal employees may use annual leave for vacations, rest and relaxation, and personal business or emergencies. Annual leave accrues at the following rates:
|Employee Type||Less than 3 years of service *||3 years but less than 15 years of service *||15 or more years of service *|
|Full-time employees||½ day (4 hours) for each pay period||¾ day (6 hours) for each pay period, except 1¼ day (10 hours) in last pay period||1 day (8 hours) for each pay period|
|Part-time employees||1 hour for each 20 hours in a pay status||1 hour for each 13 hours in a pay status||1 hour for each 10 hours in a pay status|
|Uncommon tours of duty||(4 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate.||(6 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate.**||(8 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate.|
|SES, Senior Level (SL), and Scientific or Professional (ST) positions, and employees in equivalent pay systems, as determined by OPM||8 hours for each pay period, regardless of years of service. (See Extension of Higher Annual Leave Accrual Rate to SES and SL/ST Equivalent Pay Systems fact sheet)|
Federal employees are entitled to use sick leave for personal medical needs, family care or bereavement, care of a family member with a serious health condition, or adoption related purposes. Sick leave accrues at the following rates:
|Full-time employees||1/2 day (4 hours) for each biweekly pay period|
|Part-time employees||1 hour for each 20 hours in a pay status|
|Uncommon tours of duty||(4 hours) times (average # of hours per biweekly pay period) divided by 80 = biweekly accrual rate|
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Most federal employees are entitled to a total of up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for the following purposes:
- the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and the care of such son or daughter;
- the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care;
- the care of spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition; or
- a serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her positions.
- any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty) in the Armed Forces.
Paid Parental Leave
Federal employees are eligible for paid parental leave in certain circumstances. The employee must be eligible for FMLA and also meet the following requirements:
- Has completed at least 12 months of Federal service of a type that is covered under the title 5 FMLA provisions;
- Has a part-time or full-time work schedule (i.e., employees with an intermittent work schedule are ineligible); and
- Has an appointment of more than 1 year in duration (i.e., employees with temporary appointments not to exceed 1 year are ineligible).