Pay and Benefits

Pay Leave

Pension Plan Holidays
Thrift Savings Plan Training
Group Health Benefits Awards
Group Life Insurance Counseling Services
Injury Compensation Plan Transit Subsidy
Work Schedule  

Pay

For most SSA jobs, employees are paid according to the General Schedule (GS) Classification and Pay System. Some salaries are adjusted for locality. For information concerning other pay systems, contact the Center for Human Resources.

  • SALARY INCREASES - Under the GS classification and pay system, you are eligible to receive within-grade increases provided your performance is at the successful level and you have completed the required waiting period.

  • PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS - Deductions are made for Federal income tax, State and local income taxes in some areas, Medicare, Social Security and/or Civil Service retirement. You may also authorize deductions for life insurance, health benefits, and the Combined Federal Campaign.

  • DIRECT DEPOSIT OF SALARY PAYMENTS - The payroll office will send all of your salary directly to a bank or other financial institution for deposit in your checking and/or savings accounts.

  • PAYDAY - Every other Tuesday is designated as payday for SSA Employees. Your salary payment will cover a 2-week pay period ending 10 days before payday. For each pay period, you will have internet access to a statement showing your gross and net salary as well as the amount taken out for each payroll deduction. After the end of year, a Withholding Statement (Form W-2) for use in preparing your income tax returns will be mailed to you.

Pension Plan

Newly appointed employees are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). This is a contributory 3-tier plan providing retirement income from a Federal pension, Social Security, and a Thrift Savings Plan.

NOTE: If you were employed by the Federal government in the past, you may be covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the CSRS Offset system instead of FERS.

Thrift Savings Plan

The TSP is a defined contribution plan similar to the 401K plans offered in the private sector. Contributions are made by payroll deduction. Both the money that is contributed and the interest earned are tax-deferred.

Employees under FERS and CSRS/CSRS Offset are eligible to contribute to the TSP. FERS employees receive an additional benefit through the TSP matching program. The Agency will match up to 5% of basic pay to the employee's account.

Employees are immediately vested in the TSP for their own contributions plus earnings, and for any Government match plus earnings. After completing 3 years of federal civilian service, FERS employees are vested in (i.e., entitled to keep) the automatic 1% contribution made by the agency .

Group Health Benefits

A voluntary health insurance program is available to you and your family for protection against the cost of illness and accident. You may select from a variety of plans, including fee-for-service, health maintenance organization, and point-of-service plans based upon your geographic location. The cost depends upon the plan selected. The Government pays a portion of the membership cost, usually about 70%. Your cost is deducted from your bi-weekly pay.

Group Life Insurance

You may purchase group life insurance to provide life and accidental death and dismemberment coverage. There are two kinds of insurance available:

  • BASIC COVERAGE - The amount of basic insurance available is directly related to your basic salary. Coverage for the basic is automatic unless you sign a waiver of coverage. The Government contributes approximately 20% of the cost for the basic coverage.
  • OPTIONAL COVERAGE - If you are covered by basic insurance, you may elect one or more optional insurance plans depending upon your personal and family needs. Two options provide additional coverage for you while another option offers coverage for your spouse and/or eligible children. You are responsible for the full cost of any optional insurance elected.

Injury Compensation Plan

A voluntary health insurance program is available to you and your family for protection against the cost of illness and accident. You may select from a variety of plans, including fee-for-service, health maintenance organization, and point-of-service plans based upon your geographic location. The cost depends upon the plan selected. The Government pays a portion of the membership cost, usually about 70%. Your cost is deducted from your bi-weekly pay.

Work Schedule

  • ALTERNATIVE WORK SCHEDULE - Some SSA offices have alternatives to a fixed work schedule. These alternatives take two forms - flextime with credit hours and compressed work schedules:
    • Flextime refers to a variety of arrangements in which fixed times of arrival and departure are replaced by a working day composed of two different types of time-core time and flexible time. Core time is the designated period during which all employees must be present. Flexible time is designated as part of the schedule of working hours within which employees may choose their time of arrival and departure from the work site.
    • Flextime with Credit Hours allows employees to work additional time after completing their normal workday provided they have advance approval from their supervisor. The additional time will be accrued for employees to use sometime in the future.
    • Compressed Work Schedule allows employees to work 8 9-hour days, 1 8-hour day and have 1 day off in a biweekly pay period or work 4 10-hour days each week of the biweekly pay period. Check with the Center for Human Resources to determine the alternatives available.

Leave

Approved absence from work in the Federal government is called leave. All leave must be requested in 15 minute increments and approved by your supervisor. There are several types of leave:

  • ANNUAL LEAVE - Used to take time off for rest and relaxation. Leave is earned as follows:
Years of Federal Service
Annual Leave Accumulated
Less than 3
13 days a year
3 through 15
20 days a year
more than 15
26 days a year
  • SICK LEAVE - Used for the following reasons:
    • Illness;
    • Receiving medical, dental, or optical examinations;
    • Presenting a health threat due to exposure to communicable diseases; or
    • Involvement in adoption-related activities.
    • A limited amount of sick leave may be used to provide care for family members or for death of a family member.

You earn 13 days of sick leave a year and it may accumulate without limit.

  • VOLUNTARY LEAVE TRANSFER PROGRAM
    The Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) provides for federal employees to transfer an amount of their accrued annual leave to other employees who face qualifying medical emergencies. (This emergency can either be one suffered by the employee or a member of his/her family.) All SSA employees may participate in the VLTP. Additionally, leave can be transferred to or from an employee in most other Federal agencies.
  • FAMILY FRIENDLY LEAVE ACT
    The Family Friendly Leave Act (FFLA) expands the use of sick leave by permitting most full-time employees to use accrued sick leave to care for a family member or for bereavement purposes.

  • FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT
    The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with entitlement to UNPAID leave during any 12-month period.

 

Holidays

The Federal government observes ten legal holidays.

Training

On-the-job training is provided SSA-wide. It covers needed knowledge and skills; i.e., clerical, technical, professional, managerial, etc., in accordance with established management priorities and availability of funds.

Awards

You are eligible for honorary and monetary awards that are granted to recognize superior accomplishments.

Counseling Services

Depending on where you work, the Employee Assistance Program assists employees with their career-related concerns and personal financial situations. The Employee Assistance Program also provides direct counseling and referral, management consultation, supervisory training, employee education and outreach.

Transit Subsidy

Under the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Mass Transit Subsidy Program, SSA will subsidize the cost of commuting expenses for certain SSA employees. Employees eligible to participate in the SSA Mass Transit Subsidy Program, must commute to and/or from work on mass transit facilities and/or by qualified vanpools, and must live or work in areas designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as Extreme and/or Severe Ozone Non-attainment areas.

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