All federal employees hired after 1983 pay Social Security taxes, including the President, the Vice President, members of Congress, sitting federal judges, certain legislative branch employees, and most political appointees. The government collects these taxes in the same amounts as they would if these employees worked in the private sector at the same salary level.
For information on and help with federal benefits, contact your agency's personnel or human resources office or call the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Visit OPM's Healthcare and Insurance website to sign up for benefits, find forms, and get answers to frequently asked questions about insurance programs.
Find information about specific programs:
- Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI)
- Federal Employees Dental/Vision Program (FEDVIP)
- Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)
- Learn about the new FEHB Self Plus One enrollment type.
- Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS)
- Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)
Enroll or Change Benefits
- If you are a current employee, you can only enroll in or change your federal employee benefits during open season, unless you experience a qualifying life event, such as marriage.
- New employees can enroll in benefits outside of open season.
- The annual federal benefits open season does not include FEGLI. Outside of FEGLI's infrequent open seasons, employees can enroll or increase their coverage by taking a physical exam or with a qualifying life event.
Retirees and Survivors
Federal Employee Retirement Planning and Management
If you are a federal employee planning to retire or a federal retiree looking for information about your benefits, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)'s Retirement page can help you:
- Research and learn about retirement options.
- Manage your benefits online.
- Find options for signing up for direct deposit. If you receive paper checks now, you'll soon be required to switch to direct deposit or Direct Express debit card.
- Find answers to frequently asked questions about retirement.
Thrift Savings Plan
In addition to the defined or basic benefits provided by your CSRS or FERS plan, if you are a current federal employee, you can boost your retirement savings by participating in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP offers the same types of savings and tax benefits as a 401(k) plan.
Credit for Military Service
Military service does not automatically count toward civil service retirement.
- To receive credit for military service performed after 1956, you must pay a deposit.
- If you are a military retiree, you generally cannot receive military service credit towards your civilian retirement unless you waive your military retired pay.
Contact OPM's Retirement Operations Center
For benefits information or help with a transaction, contact OPM's Retirement Operations Center.
State and Local Government Employees
If you are a state or local government employee and have questions about your pension plan, contact your agency's personnel department. You can also contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration (ESBA) for help.
Last Updated: February 14, 2017
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