Pay and Benefits for Federal Employees

Learn more about pay and benefits for federal employees.

Pay Scales and Benefits for Federal Employees and Congress

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.

Federal Employee Salaries

For more information about federal pay scales and benefits, visit the Office of Personnel Management website or contact OPM.

Congressional Salaries and Pensions

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Benefit Programs for Federal Employees and Survivors

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:

 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.
  • A FEGLI open season is scheduled for September 1-30, 2016. 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 retirees and their survivors are also eligible for these benefit programs. For further help with benefits, contact OPM about retirement services.

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Civil Service Retirement

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:

If you are the survivor of a deceased federal employee or federal retiree, you may be eligible for death and survivor benefits. Visit the OPM website to report the death and apply for death benefits

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.

Combine Military Service and Civil Service Retirement

Military service does not automatically count toward civil service retirement.

Contact OPM's Retirement Operations Center

For benefits information or help with a transaction, contact OPM's Retirement Operations Center.

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Pension Benefits for Government Employees, Military, and Veterans

Federal Government Employees

If you are a federal employee, you may be eligible for retirement, survivor, disability, and death benefits through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

If you are a federal retiree with questions about your retirement benefits, contact OPM's Retirement Operations Center.

State or 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.

Military Retirees

If you are a military retiree of the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Navy, contact the Defense Finance and Accounting Service  (DFAS) for questions about your pension benefits.

If you are a Coast Guard military retiree, contact the Coast Guard Pay & Personnel Center.


If you are a low-income wartime veteran, you may qualify for a veterans pension. Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more.

Pension Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers an online tool and an online publication to help you determine whether or not your pension or annuity payment is taxable.

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