Pay and Benefits for Federal Employees

Pay and Benefits for Federal Employees

Pay Scales 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

  • Pay Tables for Federal Government Employees
  • Pay Tables for Foreign Service Employees

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

Congressional Salaries

  • Congressional Salaries and Allowances (PDF, Download Adobe Reader)
  • Social Security taxes on Congressional Salaries

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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:

  • 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 retirees and their survivors are also eligible for these benefit programs. For further help with benefits, contact OPM about retirement services.

Civil Service Retirement

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.

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 Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employee Retirement System (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.

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.

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 (EBSA) for help.

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:

  • Find the basics about participating – Eligibility, contributions, loans, withdrawals, setting up and managing your account.
  • Learn about investment funds – Overview of fund types, fund options, and performance.
  • View retirement planning and tools – Investment strategies, retirement planning phases, and living comfortably in retirement. Use the calculators to help you plan.
  • Get help with life events that affect your TSP account – What to do if you have personal or career changes or changes to your active duty status.

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 Email Scams

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

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Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

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

  • Check the status of a life insurance claim
  • Use the FEGLI Calculator
  • Find out how to dispute a claim
  • Report suspected fraud
  • Retirement and FEGLI
  • Find answers to frequently asked questions

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.

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