**Written by Doug Powers
Over 200k just to separate the white males from the rest in order to contribute to a more colorblind society free from sexual discrimination? That sounds like a job I could handle — if I wasn’t a white guy.
Sure the salary might seem high, but as you can see, the benefits are far inferior to those offered in the private sector. Just look at this skimpy list of bennies:
BENEFITS: FHFA offers a wide array of benefits:
1. HEALTH INSURANCE – A variety of Federal Employee Health Benefit plans to choose from which can be paid from pre-tax income. FHFA pays 90% of the bi-weekly premium.
2. DENTAL INSURANCE – FREE comprehensive dental coverage to employees and their family members. There is a $2,500 annual maximum per employee and a separate orthodontic benefit for dependent children to age 19. (Annual deductibles apply.)
3. VISION INSURANCE – FREE vision care coverage. This benefit covers the employee and all eligible dependents. (Co-pay applies.) Coverage includes reimbursement according to a fee schedule for eye examinations, frames and contact lenses once every 12 months.
4. WELLNESS REIMBURSEMENT – The Wellness Program provides a taxable reimbursement each fiscal year for various health related expenses. The maximum reimbursement dollar amount is established at $600 for 2010.
5. FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT – The Flexible Spending Account Program provides pre-tax, employee-funded accounts to pay for medical expenses that are tax deductible as well as dependent care costs.
6. LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE – The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program provides long term care insurance to help pay for costs of care when you can no longer perform everyday tasks by yourself, or you have a severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s. You may visit the Long Term Care Partners website for more information: www.ltcfeds.com.
7. COMMUTING EXPENSES – 100% of the cost of your public transportation commuting expenses (e.g., vanpool, metro bus, metro train) is paid. The first $230 is tax-free and $90 per month is provided to cover the cost of parking at Metro operated lots.
8. LEAVE – The federal leave program offers exceptional time-off benefits, including annual leave, sick leave, Family Friendly Leave, Family Medical Leave, and ten (10) paid holidays per year.
9. RETIREMENT – Employees who currently participate in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) will remain in that system. All other employees will participate in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tiered program consisting of: Basic Benefit (a retirement pension), Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) (see below).
10. SAVINGS PLAN WITH MATCHING FUNDS – The TSP is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees and offers the same type of savings and tax benefits provided under 401(k) plans. As a FERS employee, you can contribute up to $16,500 per year. You will receive agency-matching contributions up to the first 5 percent. As a CSRS employee, you can contribute up to $16,500 per year. CSRS employees do not receive any agency contributions. Employees age 50 or older as of December 31, 2009, may contribute an additional $5,500 for catch-up contribution per year. Newly appointed employees will be subject to an automatic enrollment of the TSP at the rate of 3% of their basic pay each pay period.
11. 401(k) PLAN – In addition to the TSP, FHFA offers an additional 401(k) plan that is administered by T. Rowe Price. Employees covered under FERS contributing at least 3% to the TSP may participate in the FHFAs 401(k) plan. All CSRS employees may participate. 401(k) plan participants may contribute up to 10% of their bi-weekly pay on a pre-tax basis, with agency matching contributions of up to 3 %.
12. LIFE INSURANCE – The Federal Employee Group Life Insurance offers numerous life insurance policy options covering employees and dependents.
13. COUNSELING SERVICES – The Employee Assistance Program provides free confidential counseling and referral services to you and your family members.
14. TRAINING – Career development and enrichment training is available in job-related areas.
15. GYM – Free use of an on-site gym and locker room with shower facilities.
Of course the government can continue to operate this way!
**Written by Doug Powers
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