Attorneys | Support Staff | 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:
Congress created the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1986. Since that time, new Federal civilian employees who have retirement coverage are covered by FERS.
FERS is a retirement plan that provides benefits from three different sources: a Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Two of the three parts of FERS (Social Security and the TSP) can go with you to your next job if you leave the Federal Government before retirement. Although the agency contributes to the cost, the Basic Benefit and Social Security parts of FERS require you to pay your share each pay period. After you retire, you receive annuity payments each month for the rest of your life.
The TSP part of FERS is an account that is automatically set up for you. Each pay period, the agency deposits into your account an amount equal to 1% of the basic pay you earn for the pay period. You can also make your own contributions to your TSP account and the agency will make a matching contribution (up to 4 %). These contributions are tax-deferred. The Thrift Savings Plan is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
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 available 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 pre-tax basis.
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 and 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.
Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)
The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) is available to eligible Federal employees, retirees, and their eligible family members on an enrollee-pay-all basis. This Program allows dental and vision insurance to be purchased on a group basis which means competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations. Premiums for enrolled Federal and Postal employees are withheld from salary on a pre-tax basis.
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.
Employees are entitled to ten paid holidays each year.
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 may also be eligible to receive tuition reimbursement for continuing education seminars and/or college course work which relates to their assigned duties.
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. The loan is given 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.
Additional information on Federal benefits is available at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Web site located at www.opm.gov.