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As a federal employee, there are several benefits programs available to you, in areas such as insurance and retirement, most of which are available to immediately opt into upon the start of duty.

Most DISA employees are paid according to the General Schedule (GS) Classification and Pay System. Salaries may vary by geographic location. Your salary may be increased by approved annual adjustments in the Federal pay system, as well as by periodic increases based on successful performance.

You will be paid on a biweekly basis (26 pay periods a year), with your salary check sent directly to a bank or other financial institution for deposit in your checking and/or savings accounts.

Federal employees earn both annual and sick leave.

Annual Leave is used for vacations, rest and relaxation, and personal business or emergencies. New full-time employees earn four hours of annual leave per biweekly pay period totaling 13 paid annual leave days a year. As you progress in your career, you will earn up to 26 days of annual leave each year. The amount of leave earned is based on your years of service as shown below:

Years of Federal Service Paid Annual Leave Earned
Less than 3 13 days a year
3 to 15 years 20 days a year
More than 15 26 days a year

Prior military service might count towards the time required to go into the next annual leave category. Most employees can carry over no more than 30 days of annual leave into the next leave year. See the annual leave fact sheet.

Sick Leave may be used for personal medical needs, care of a family member, care of a family member with a serious health condition, or adoption related purposes. DISA employees earn 13 days of sick leave each year, accumulated at the rate of 4 hours per biweekly pay period.

You can accrue this sick leave without limit. See the sick leave fact sheet.

For further information on Federal leave programs, please visit the Leave Programs Web site.

There are 10 paid federal holidays a year.

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday
  • Washington's Birthday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

If you're in a Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) eligible position, you're automatically enrolled in Basic Life Insurance, which is effective on the first day you enter in a pay and duty status. You do not get any optional insurance automatically - you must elect it.

You have 31 days from your entry date to sign up for any optional life insurance. If you do not make an election, you are considered to have waived optional insurance. No proof of insurability is required for the Basic insurance you get upon being hired, or any of the optional insurance you sign-up for during the first 31 days. Proof of insurability might be required for insurance changes after that time.

FEGLI Program offers:

  • Basic Life Insurance - equal to your annual basic pay, rounded up to the next $1,000, plus $2,000.

Plus three types of optional insurance:

  • Option A, Standard - in the amount of $10,000;
  • Option B, Additional - in an amount from one to five times your annual basic pay (after rounding up to the next $1,000); and
  • Option C, Family - provides coverage for your spouse and eligible dependent children.

For additional information, please visit the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program Web site.

You have 60 days from your entry on duty to sign-up for Flexible Spending Account(s), or until October 1, whichever comes first. Applications for the current calendar year are not accepted from October 1 through December 31. If you wish to enroll after October 1, you will need to do so during open season for the following year.

The Federal Flexible Spending Accounts Program (FSAFEDS) allows you to pay for certain health and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. You may choose to make a voluntary allotment from your salary to your FSAFEDS account(s). You will not pay employment or income taxes on your allotments. FSAs are not carried over from one plan year to the next. Therefore, each Fall during the annual open season, you must make a new election for the upcoming plan year.

Two FSAs are offered:

  • A Health Care FSA (HCFSA), through which you may use pre-tax allotments to pay for certain health care expenses that are not reimbursed by your health insurance or any other source, and not claimed on your income tax return. The maximum amount you may set aside in any tax year is $4,000, and the minimum is $250.

  • A Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA), through which you may use pre-tax allotments to pay for eligible dependent care expenses. The maximum amount you may set aside in any tax year is $5,000 ($2,500 if you are married and filing a separate income tax return), and the minimum amount is $250.

For additional information, please visit the FSAFEDS Web site.

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance for federal employees and their parents, parents-in-law, stepparents, spouses, and adult children.

If you're newly employed in a position that confers eligibility for Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage, you can apply for long term care insurance, even if you don't enroll in the FEHB Program. The cost of the insurance is based on your age when you apply - the older you are when you apply, the higher the premiums. Certain medical conditions, or combination of conditions, will prevent some people from being approved for coverage.

You (and your spouse, if you're married) have 60 days from your entrance date to apply for Long Term Care Insurance using the abbreviated underwriting application with only a few health-related questions. If you apply after the 60 day period, you will have to use the long underwriting application with numerous health-related questions, and possibly a review of medical records and/or an interview with a nurse.

For additional information, please visit the FLTCIP Program Web site.

The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) is one of the most valuable benefits of federal employment. It is an optional benefit, allowing you to choose coverage that best fits your needs from a wide variety of health insurance plans, including well-known national plans, HMOs, and regional providers.

You have 60 days to make your election; it is to your advantage to make this election soon to begin coverage. Your enrollment will be effective on the first day of the pay period after you establish eligibility and select a plan. The Federal Government will share the cost of premiums with you. Your share will be automatically deducted from your pay.

Premium Conversion is a "pre-tax" arrangement under which the part of your salary that goes for health insurance premiums will be non-taxable. This means that you save on Federal income tax and FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare taxes). In most cases, you'll also save on state income tax and local income tax. The payroll office will sign you up for Premium Conversion automatically. You don't need to fill out a form. You do have a choice, however, to waive premium conversion.

For additional information, please visit the Federal Employee Health Benefits Web site.

The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) offers comprehensive dental and vision benefits and is available to eligible 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 employees will be withheld from salary on a pre-tax basis.

FEDVIP is not part of the Federal Employee Health Benefits program, and it is different from any supplementary dental and vision product your FEHB plan may offer. New employees have 60 days from entry on duty to enroll.

For additional information, please visit the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program.

If your appointment confers eligibility for the Federal Employees Retirement System, DISA will automatically enroll you in this program. This program is the equivalent to the 401K program offered in private industry.

Most new employees are automatically covered by the FERS. FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan. The three tiers are:

  • Social Security Benefits
  • Basic Benefit Plan
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

You pay full Social Security taxes and a small contribution to the Basic Benefit Plan. In addition, your agency will set up a Thrift Savings Plan account for you and will automatically contribute an amount equal to 1% of your basic pay each pay period. These agency automatic (1%) contributions are not taken out of your salary, and your agency makes these contributions whether or not you contribute your own money to the TSP.

You are also able to make tax-deferred contributions to the TSP and a portion is matched by the government. Your agency will invest $1 for every $1 you invest for the first 3 percent of your basic salary, and 50 cents for each $1 you invest for the next 2 percent of your basic salary. The agency contributions are not taken out of your salary; they are an extra benefit to you.

You can start, change, stop, and resume TSP contributions at any time. There is no waiting period. However, there is a mandatory waiting period for agency automatic contributions and agency matching contributions. See the chart under "What are the basic rules for contributing to the TSP?" to determine when you will be eligible.