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CDC/ATSDR Civil Service Benefits




INTRODUCTION

PAID LEAVE

HEALTH AND LIFE INSURANCE

RETIREMENT

WORK AND FAMILY PROGRAMS






INTRODUCTION

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) offers a competitive benefits package to its employees. These benefits are for the purpose of maintaining our employee’s health, morale, and efficiency at a very high level. CDC/ATSDR offers paid leave, a portable retirement plan, health and wellness services, and subsidized health and life insurance plans.





PAID LEAVE

Annual leave is granted for vacations, rest, and other personal reasons. Sick leave is available for use when an employee is ill and a limited amount can be used when an employee’s family member is ill or needs to visit a doctor, dentist, or other health care provider for examination or treatment. Leave is also permitted for military and voting purposes as well as for jury service and witness duty under certain conditions.

Annual Leave

Annual leave accumulates to an employee’s credit on a graduated basis according to the length of his or her federal government service (civilian and military). Full-time employees accrue annual leave as follows:

TOTAL SERVICE

EVERY TWO WEEKS

PER YEAR

0-3 Years

4 Hours

13 Days

3-15 Years

6 Hours

20 Days

15 Years and Over

8 Hours

26 Days

Sick Leave

Full-time employees can earn sick leave at the rate of 4 hours every two weeks or 13 days a year.

Paid Holidays

The federal government recognizes ten holidays each year: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.





HEALTH AND LIFE INSURANCE

One of the major benefits of federal employment is the opportunity to enroll in the federal health and life insurance benefits programs. Not only do employees contribute to these programs, but as the employer, the federal government also pays a significant share. Also, premiums paid by employees are tax free.

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)

The FEHBP gives all permanent CDC/ATSDR employees the opportunity to enroll in an approved group health benefits plan, regardless of age or medical condition. Employees may choose from a variety of fee for service and HMO plans. The government pays approximately 72% of the cost and the employee’s portion is paid through payroll deduction. Employees have the opportunity to cover themselves, their spouses and their unmarried dependent children under age 22.

Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

All CDC/ATSDR employees are covered under FEGLI Basic Life Insurance unless waived. The amount of coverage under the Basic Life Insurance is equal to an employee’s annual basic pay (rounded to the next $1,000) plus $2,000. The government pays approximately 1/3 of the premium for the Basic Life Insurance and the remaining 2/3 is withheld from the employee’s salary by payroll deduction. Optional coverages under FEGLI are available. Employee pays all of the premiums for any optional coverage.





RETIREMENT

All employees hired into the executive branch service after 1983 are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tiered plan consisting of a basic annuity benefit, the Thrift Savings Plan, and Social Security.

Once an employee has worked for the federal government for five years, he or she becomes eligible for retirement benefits (an annuity to be paid monthly upon eligibility). To retire the employee must have worked for a certain number of years (service requirement) and have reached a certain age (age requirement). Service and age requirements vary. Upon completion of five years of civilian service, any prior creditable military service can be counted towards the service requirement provided a deposit is made for the military service and, in the case of a retired military serviceman, the waiver of the military retired pension.

Basic Annuity Benefit

A basic annuity benefit is payable when an employee retires from the government and is based strictly on the length of the employee’s federal service and the average of the highest three years of salary earned. Generally, an employee needs at least five years of federal civilian employment to qualify for a future basic annuity benefit. If an employee reaches the minimum retirement age (between 55 and 57, depending upon when the employee was born) and has at least 10 years of creditable service, the employee may retire and begin receiving the basic annuity benefit immediately. This benefit is reduced if the employee retires under the age of 62 unless he or she retires (1) with 20 years of service at age 60, (2) with 30 years of service at the minimum retirement age, or (3) following an involuntary separation through no fault of the employee after completing 25 years of service (or 20 years if at least 50). An employee is also entitled to a basic annuity benefit at any age if approved for disability retirement (some restrictions apply). Your contribution for 2001 is .80%.

Social Security

All new employees are automatically covered by the Social Security System. An employee may apply for regular Social Security benefits as early as age 62. Disability Social Security benefits are conditionally available at any age. Your contributions for 2001 are as follows: OASDI- 6.2%, Medicare 1.45%.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan similar to many 401(K) plans offered in the private sector. Employees covered by FERS are able to contribute any amount up to 10 percent of their salary into the TSP. Unlike regular retirement and Social Security withholdings, income taxes are not paid on TSP contributions when they are made; instead TSP benefits under retirement are fully taxable when withdrawn.

All employees covered by FERS can contribute up to 10 percent of their salary into the TSP (IRS deposit maximums apply). Upon becoming eligible to participate, CDC/ATSDR automatically contributes an amount equal to one percent of an employee’s salary to the TSP, even if the employee chooses to contribute nothing. In addition, CDC/ATSDR matches each employee contribution dollar for dollar on the first 3 percent contributed and 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2 percent.

All contributions to an employee’s TSP account earn interest and may be divided among three funds (a bond-based fund, a stock-based fund, small business capitalization fund, international stock index fund, and a government securities fund). Employees also have the opportunity to borrow against their TSP contributions.

Should an employee leave the government prior to qualifying for immediate retirement, he or she may either (1) ask for a refund of his or her account balance, (2) leave the contributions in his or her account and allow the account to earn interest, or (3) roll over the account balance to an eligible IRA or other qualifying retirement plan.



WORK AND FAMILY PROGRAMS

CDC/ATSDR places a high value on its human resources. The ability to attract and retain highly qualified and productive employees is critical to achieving CDC’s mission. That value is reflected in the many programs and services offered to employees. Here are just a few of the programs we offer.

Child Care Centers

CDC/ATSDR employees may elect to use the Clifton Child Care Center in Atlanta, GA; Sheltering Arms-Shadyland in Chamblee, GA; Greenwood School in Hyattsville, MD; METC Kids in Morgantown, WV; and Tundra Tykes in Anchorage, AK.

Tuition discounts are available to employees who utilize one of the Children’s World Learning Centers located throughout the United States. Employees should check the local phone directory for the nearest center. Proof of employment will be required.

LifeCare.com

Child care and adult care counseling and referral services are available nationwide by contacting a LifeCare counselor at 1-800-873-4636. LifeCare’s extensive services include prenatal and adoption planning, evaluating child care arrangements, profiling all types of schools (from preschools to colleges), and assisting with adult care obligations ranging from long-distance caregiving to finding the right nursing home for elderly relatives.

Leave Programs

Lactation Support Program

This nationwide program is designed to ease the transition of female employees returning to work while continuing to provide the important nutritional benefits of breast milk. Female employees attend prenatal breast-feeding classes, receive post-partum private telephone consultation, have access to continuing lactation support services, and make use of a lactation room with a pump provided at the worksite. A reference library containing books, videos, and audiotapes is also available.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP provides cost-free confidential counseling for employees who may be facing personal or work-related problems.

Alternative Work Schedules (AWS)

AWS consists of flexible and compressed schedules. Flexible schedules allow employees to choose a set tour of duty (Flexitour) or to vary their daily arrival and departure times within the established flexible band (Flexitime). Compressed schedules, frequently called 4/10 or 5-4/9, allow employees to increase the number of work hours per day, thereby allowing a day off weekly or biweekly depending on the schedule selected. Participation is subject to supervisory approval.

Flexible Workplace Arrangements Program

Also called Flexiplace, this program allows permanent part-time and full-time civilian employees meeting participation criteria the opportunity to work at home a portion of the workweek.

Fare Share

This transit subsidy program reimburses employees up to $65 per month for using public transportation more than 50% of the time for the daily commute to and/or from work. The program goals are to increase the number of employees who use public transportation and to reduce the use of automobiles for employee commuting.