The country is facing a once-in-a-lifetime employment transition. While many people are looking for the opportunity to find a stable job, others are quitting jobs to earn a better wage or lifestyle. One solid employment opportunity is in the public sector.
A government job has some huge advantages from flexibility to great benefits including special insurance rates for government employees. Here are the top five benefits of working for the government.
#1 – Job Availability and Access
One huge positive of working for the government is your employer is much less likely to go out of business. Sure, various government organizations will change or evolve over time, but unlike the private sector, there is a much lower risk of termination and a high level of job security.
In addition to job security, there are many opportunities throughout the sector. Different organizations are constantly rehashing projects or expanding into new areas. That means there are always positions to fill. Each organization is also hiring for a wide variety of opportunities ranging from STEM careers to human resources positions.
Access to jobs and security can provide huge peace of mind. Especially during hard economic times, any amount of stability you can find is a massive benefit.
#2 – Great Benefit Options
When it comes to benefits, the public sector is hard to beat. It begins with health and retirement plans, but you’ll be impressed by the wide variety of benefits offered to every employee. It seems like the government knows the importance of increasing employee retention.
Being a federal employee gives you access to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). This wide range of health care plans will likely blow most U.S. employers out of the water. Each plan covers current and retired employees and their families (this includes children under the age of 26).
Each plan can also include an FSA that will help you save for medical expenses by setting aside a pre-taxed portion of your paycheck. This means you’ll have more spending power for your medical bills.
Assuming that Social Security will be around by the time you retire, you would be entitled to receive full Social Security benefits. This works the same as for the private sector, but in theory, a portion of each paycheck will be used to support you and your loved ones post-retirement.
Similar to how former military members have access to disabled veterans auto insurance discounts, the federal government provides access to helpful insurance products. Should the worst occur, your family has access to the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance program.
These plans scale up to six times your annual salary in coverage. It can also cover each family member.
Long-Term Care Insurance Plan
If federal employees are no longer able to work due to an injury or a long-term chronic illness, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) would provide a portion of your expected salary for a certain period of time.
As of 1987, federal employees have a variety of retirement plan options housed within the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
The three sources to choose from are a Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP):
- Social Security and the TSP can follow you to other occupations if you leave the public sector before retirement.
- The Basic Benefit plan and Social Security involve you paying a portion of each paycheck to secure coverage.
- The TSP is an account that is automatically set up upon being hired.
- Federal employers deposit an automatic 1% contribution (of your basic pay for the pay period.) In addition, they will also make matching contributions to any additional amount you choose to save.
- These Thrift Savings Plans allow employees to retire as early as 55 and still have the ability to claim lifetime retirement benefits. They are also tax-deferred.
#3 – Extra Vacation Time and Schedule Flexibility
Many Americans are forced to dream about which countries they might visit, if only they had the extra vacation time. Unfortunately, according to national studies, the average U.S. employee receives around 10 days of paid time off. Here’s another area where federal employers shine.
When it comes to vacation time, a new hire can enjoy 13 days of paid vacation time each year. That jumps up by a whole week on your third year of employment. Meanwhile, you’ll have the option to bank up to 30 days of PTO and carry it over each year.
|Length of Employment
|1 to 3 years
|3 to 15 years
|15 or more years
If you’re feeling sick or need a day dedicated to your health, have no fear. Federal employees have access to 13 days of paid sick leave each year regardless of the length of their employment. They are also loose with the term “sick time” as these days can cover anything from a family member’s care or even going through the adoption process.
If you’ve ever worked in a career where you had to come into the office on holidays, you know it is a miserable experience. The good news for federal employees is that they get to enjoy 11 holidays off each year. That’s more than previous years, too.
Lastly, many federal employers are opening up their offices to allow for flexible working arrangements. This can mean alternative hours that add up to regular days off, or even remote work opportunities which have become massively important over the past couple of years. The goal is to keep employees satisfied with their work-life balance and improve retention.
#4 – Solid Career Paths
Many federal organizations pride themselves on their ability to offer scaled career paths for employees. As more and more federal employees retire in the coming years, we will see a massive transition of age in the public sector and that translates into exciting job opportunities for individuals.
You can expect to see many job openings in a wide variety of levels and positions across the sector.
#5 – Scholarship Opportunities
Last but certainly not least, education is extremely important in becoming a productive citizen. The federal government knows that and offers exciting programs to individuals that allow them to continue their higher education studies alongside their federal careers.
The government also tries to offer greater access to employees by helping them get into leading schools and providing unique scholarships. Those that are unable to get the scholarships also have access to federal loan repayment programs. Annually, a federal employer is able to pay off $10,000 on your behalf of a $60,000 student loan.