If you’re in the workforce, you probably plan to retire someday. Regardless of your age, it’s never too early to start preparing for it.
A career at VA helps you save for retirement because, as the largest employer in the nation, the federal government is able to offer exceptional retirement benefits. We provide a comprehensive retirement package known as the Federal Employees Retirement System, or FERS. This retirement plan includes three components: Social Security benefits, a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and — most importantly — FERS basic benefits, or a pension, which distinguishes it from most private-sector plans.
“The pension component of VA’s retirement system is a very attractive piece of the total retirement package,” said Darren Sherrard, associate director for recruitment marketing at VA’s Veterans Health Administration. “VA employees enjoy very generous retirement benefits that allow them to retire with confidence.”
How it works
As a VA employee, you contribute to your pension plan and Social Security each pay period. This 7% contribution is deducted from each paycheck. But we also contribute to these portions of the retirement plan on your behalf.
When you retire, you’ll receive monthly payments for the rest of your life. Your pension amount is based on your salary and how long you worked for VA.
In addition, we contribute to the TSP portion of your retirement plan, which is a 401(k)-type retirement savings plan. Each pay period, we deposit an amount equal to 1% of your basic pay for the pay period into your TSP account. You also may make your own pre-tax contributions to the TSP, which we match up to 4% over and above the 1% contribution.
Under FERS, you would be eligible for monthly retirement benefits after just five years of federal service. And FERS is portable — if you leave federal employment, you could take the Social Security and TSP components with you to your next job.
Another plus: The Federal Employee Health Benefits Program lets you carry your health insurance coverage with you into retirement.
Wait, there’s more
In addition to our excellent retirement plan, there are many other benefits and perks that come with VA employment. For instance, we offer generous health care coverage effective the first full pay period following your start date. As a VA employee, you may earn up to 26 days of paid annual leave each year, accrue unlimited paid sick leave and enjoy 10 paid federal holidays. You also may take advantage of financial support for education and training, student loan forgiveness programs, performance-based salary increases and accelerated raises.
Work at VA today
Consider making a VA career the one you retire from!
- LEARN more about the benefits of a VA career.
- EXPLORE education support programs at VA.
- READ about the VA hiring process.
- DISCOVER how you can work at VA.