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Pay and Benefits for Federal Employees

Learn more about pay and benefits for federal employees.

Pay Scales for Federal Employees and Congress

The government publishes new pay tables for federal employees every year. 

Federal Employee Salaries

The president and Congress decide how much, if any, increase federal workers will receive.

Learn more about federal pay and benefits from the Office of Personnel Management.

Federal Employees Pay Social Security Taxes

All federal employees hired in 1984 or later pay Social Security taxes. This includes the president, the vice president, and members of Congress. It also includes federal judges and most political appointees.

They all pay the same amount of Social Security taxes as people working in the private sector.

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.
  • 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.

Civil Service Retirement

If you've retired from the federal government or plan to, get to know the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)'s retirement services.

Federal Employee Retirement Planning and Management

OPM has information to help you:

Survivors of Federal Employees and Retirees

If you’re the survivor of a federal employee or retiree, you may qualify for death and survivor benefits. Visit the OPM website to report the death and apply for death benefits.

Thrift Savings Plan for Current Employees

As a current federal employee, you can contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP offers the same types of savings and tax benefits as a 401(k) plan.

Retirement Credit for Military Service

Military service does not automatically count toward civil service retirement.

Federal Taxes on Government Pensions

Your pension or annuity payment may be taxable. Find out with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) online tool and online publication.

Retirement Benefits Help from OPM

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

State and Local Government Employees

If you work for state or local government, contact your agency for pension questions. Its personnel department should be able to help. You can also contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Federal Employees' Thrift Savings Plan

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement plan for federal government employees and members of the military.

On the TSP website, you can:

If you have questions about the TSP or your TSP account, call the participant service line at 1-TSP-YOU-FRST (1-877-968-3778) or TTY at 1-TSP-THRIFT5 (1-877-847-4385).

Note: There are a number of third-party mobile applications that refer to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and may ask you for your TSP login information. Providing your information could result in a security risk to your account. If you want to access your TSP account, log in directly at TSP.gov.

TSP Email Scams

Some TSP participants have received fraudulent email messages claiming to be from the TSP. Find out how to protect your TSP account.

Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) covers over 4 million federal employees, retirees, and family members.

Questions About Your Coverage

  • Current employees: Contact your agency's personnel office. Your employing agency maintains all of your records, including designation of beneficiary forms. OPM and the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) do not have access to your records and cannot answer questions about coverage or beneficiaries. 
  • Retirees: Contact the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Retirement Office at 1-888-767-6738 or send an email to retire@opm.gov
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Last Updated: September 25, 2019

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