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Employee Benefits

Attorneys | Support Staff | Student Interns| Employee Benefits

Permanent status employees of the U.S. Attorney's Office are eligible to receive a comprehensive Federal government benefit package which includes the following:

Retirement - The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is an outstanding 3-tiered plan to provide secure retirement, disability, and survivor benefits for employees and their dependents. In addition to Social Security benefits as a base, FERS offers both an annuity that grows with length of service and a tax deferred savings plan. Employees pay eight-tenths of 1 percent of salary to qualify for the annuity and are fully vested after five years of service and, for disability benefits, after just 18 months. The government contributes 1 percent of salary to employees who do not contribute and will match up to another 4 percent of salary for employees who do contribute.

Health Insurance - Employees can enroll in health insurance coverage for themselves and their families at reasonable rates. Employees can choose between several managed fee-for-service plans and health maintenance organization plans. There is an annual open season during which employees can change their enrollment. Unlike a growing number of private sector health benefits programs, Federal employees can continue their health insurance coverage into retirement with a full Government contribution. Most enrollees pay only one-fourth of the health benefit premium. The employee contribution for health insurance premiums are made on a pretax basis.

Life Insurance - Most full-time and part-time employees are automatically enrolled in basic life insurance equal to their salary, rounded to the next $1,000, plus $2,000. The government pays one-third of the cost of this group term insurance. Employees do not have to prove insurability; no physical is required. Basic coverage includes double benefits for accidental death and benefits for loss of limb(s) or eyesight. Employees can also purchase optional insurance at their own expense. Optional coverage includes additional insurance on the employee's life as well as coverage for the employee's spouse and eligible children, if any. Those younger than 45 receive an additional amount of coverage at no greater cost.

Leave - Employees earn 13 days of sick leave each year; sick leave can be used to care for family members, to arrange for or attend funeral services of family members, and for absences relating to adopting a child. Federal employees also earn 13 days of annual leave during each of their first three years of Federal employment. Employees earn additional annual leave as their tenure with the Federal government increases, up to a maximum of 26 days per year after 15 years of service.

Holidays - Employees are entitled to ten paid holidays each year.

Quality Worklife Programs - Employees of the U.S. Attorney's Office are eligible to receive certain no-cost medical and counseling services through the U.S. Occupational Health Service, and the Employee Assistance Program. Innovative leave sharing programs allow employees to voluntarily transfer some of their annual leave to specific coworkers or to a leave bank to assist coworkers in dealing with a personal or family medical emergency. Subject to supervisory approval, the office offers alternative scheduling options for support staff employees, including Flexitour and Compressed Work Schedules (i.e., fixed work schedules that enable full-time employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays).

Liability Insurance - Attorneys and supervisors are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to one-half the cost of professional liability insurance.

Training and Tuition Assistance - Through the resources of the Department of Justice, Office of Legal Education, our agency is able to offer a comprehensive range of courses to assist attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants and other support personnel in improving their skills. Courses are generally conducted at the National Advocacy Center, a state-of-the-art training facility located in Columbia, South Carolina. Permanent employees are also eligible to receive tuition reimbursement for continuing education seminars and/or college course work which relates to their assigned duties.

Transit Subsidy - Although the office does not offer free or subsidized parking benefits, there is a transit subsidy program in place which allows most employees to be fully reimbursed for expenses incurred in utilizing public transportation for their daily commute to and from the office.

Long Term Care Insurance - The government has developed a long term care insurance program which includes benefits for all levels of care, custodial to skilled, including home care, assisted living facilities, and nursing home care. Although employees electing this benefit pay all costs, the premiums are very competitive and the coverage among the most comprehensive and flexible available at any price.

Flexible Spending Accounts - Employees have the option of establishing Flexible Spending Accounts for health care and dependent care expenses. FSAs allow you to set money aside for eligible expenses before taxes are deducted from your paycheck. This means the amount of your income that your taxes are based on will be lower, so your tax liability will also be decreased.

Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP) - The Department of Justice administers a program that allows the repayment of certain types of Federal student loans as a recruitment or retention incentive for highly qualified attorneys in exchange for a service obligation of at least three years. Qualifying employees are eligible for up to $6,000 per calendar year subject to a lifetime maximum of $60,000. Each attorney requesting consideration for the ASLRP must submit a request with proper documentation; a Department-level panel makes final selections.

Please note that although individuals serving on temporary appointments are generally not eligible for retirement, life insurance, health insurance, long term care, flexible spending accounts, and tuition assistance, they may qualify for annual and sick leave, holiday pay and transit subsidy benefits. Additional information on Federal benefits is available at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Web site located at www.opm.gov.

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