Benefits

Job-related benefits at the SDA go beyond a competitive salary. You will work in an environment that supports a healthy balance between career and leisure time.

Additionally, the Department of Defense offers excellent benefits programs, some of which may include:

• Competitive salaries
• Vacation and sick leave, 10 paid federal holidays
• Flexible work environment and alternative work schedule
• Paid employment-related training and education
• Possible student loan repayment
• Bonuses, incentives, and awards as appropriate for your position
• Flexible Spending Accounts – Health Care (HCFSA) and Dependent Care (DCFSA)
• Comprehensive health benefits (FEHB)
• Life insurance (FEGLI)
• Generous defined retirement program (FERS)
• Long-Term Care (FLTCIP)
• Possible paid Relocation/Permanent Change of Station (PCS)
• Possible paid Recruitment/ Retention Incentive, to include Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual for Non-Federal Work Experience and Experience in the Uniformed Services
• 401K style investment plan with matching employer contributions (TSP)

Health Insurance: The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program allows employees to choose among several types of health insurance plans. The FEHB program consists of over 100 statewide/nationwide health plans. Each plan provides comprehensive coverage for employees, their spouses and their children under age 26. These include Preferred Provider Organizations/Fee for Service, Health Maintenance Organizations, and High Deductible plans. Enrollment in a health plan is voluntary and is paid for by contributions from you and the federal government, whereby the government pays approximately 72% of the entire premium. The FEHB does not place limitations on enrollment due to pre-existing conditions. Eligible employees have 60 days from their entry on duty date to enroll in FEHB. For additional information, visit http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare.

Dental and Vision Program: The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) allows dental and vision insurance to be purchased on a group basis, which means competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations. Enrollees pay 100 percent of the premiums. New federal employees are eligible to enroll in FEDVIP if eligible for Federal Employees Health Benefits. Eligible employees have 60 days from their entry on duty date to enroll in FEDVIP. For additional information, visit the enrollment site at http://www.benefeds.com/.

Long Term Care: Cadre employees may enroll in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). Long-term care is the assistance received to perform activities of daily living—such as bathing or dressing oneself—or supervision require due to a severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Enrollment in the FLTCIP is on an individual basis. Eligible federal employees’ spouses, adult children at least 18 years old, parents, parents-in-law, and step-parents are also eligible to apply for coverage, even if employees do not. Employees must be eligible for FEHB and have 60 days from their entry on duty date to apply for coverage using the abbreviated underwriting application. After 60 days, they must apply using the full underwriting application. For additional information, visit the FLTC program at http://www.opm.gov/insure/ltc/.

Life Insurance: The Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) is group term life insurance available for employees. It has no cash value and no loan privileges. However, no medical exams are required, and there is no waiting period. Most federal employees are eligible to enroll in FEGLI and will be automatically enrolled in basic insurance, unless they are excluded by law or regulation. An enrollee may also obtain coverage for eligible family members, including: spouses and unmarried dependent children under age 22. (Note: If a child was/is incapable of self-support on or after age 22 due to a mental or physical disability that existed before the child reached age 22, the child is considered to be eligible for FEGLI coverage.) Eligible employees have 60 days from their entry on duty date to increase coverage, otherwise they may do so during a qualifying life event or with a medical exam. For additional information, visit http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/life-insurance.

Flexible Spending Account Program: The Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) allows employees to use pretax dollars to pay for eligible out-of-pocket dependent and health care expenses. The savings on Health Care or Limited Expense Health Care FSAs are usually for items that typically aren’t covered by an employee’s FEHB plan, the Federal Employees Dental, and Vision Insurance Program or other health insurance coverage. The Dependent Care FSA offers savings on costs associated with child-care or elder-care expenses. Enrollment is voluntary and must be completed within 60 days of an employee’s entry on duty date, and before 1 October of the current year. For additional information, visit https://www.fsafeds.com/.

Federal Employees Retirement System: The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is a three-tiered retirement plan for federal employees. FERS benefits are portable and allow employees to take an active role in planning their retirement. Two of the three parts of FERS (Social Security and the Thrift Savings Plan) can follow you to your next job if you leave the Federal Government before retirement. The Basic Benefit and Social Security components of FERS require that you pay your cost share each pay period and the government pays its share as well. Following retirement, you will be entitled to receive annuity payments every month for the rest of your life. FERS is composed of the following components:

Basic Benefit Plan: Establishes an annuity amount based upon an employee’s age, years of service, and average highest salary attained over a consecutive 3-year period.
Social Security: Benefit payments made from Social Security Fund at retirement are based on employee’s age, benefit applied for, and earnings history.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP): The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan, similar to 401 (k) plans offered by private employers. The TSP part of FERS is an account that is automatically set up for you and FERS employees receive an automatic 1 percent contribution starting immediately after entering duty. The government will then match your contributions dollar for dollar on the first 3 percent and 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2 percent. These contributions are tax-deferred. TSP also accepts rollovers from other 401(k)/qualified retirement plans. For additional information, visit http://www.tsp.gov/.

For additional information regarding the Federal Employees Retirement System, visit https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/fers-information.