Stacie Naczelnik profile image

The Salaries of Federal Employees

Ever wondered where all of your tax money goes?

In a society where salaries are secrets nobody wants to reveal, it is refreshing to find websites that have a tell all approach when it comes to the salaries of federal employees.

If you are interested in finding out just how well (or not) a government job pays, all you have to do is get online and click away.

Why does it matter?

There are a variety of reasons why you should be able to find out how much federal employees are making.

First of all, it is important to know how tax money is used. This doesn't mean that you, personally as a taxpayer, are paying these salaries. But as a taxpayer, you should find out how taxes are used.

Second, it helps to see the salary differences between the private companies and government jobs. When I first saw some of the federal salaries, I was shocked--I was certain that the private sector paid more. I was wrong.

Public records are great sources of information. However, I wonder how some of these federal employees feel about having their salaries available for anyone to see. Are they worried about their privacy rights?

 Last updated on April 9, 2008

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Comments 97 comments

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 7 years ago from North Carolina

It is shocking the Federal employees are paid more, I know they are paid very high in USPS, some make 30 to 40$ an hour and also do more overtime and paid double overtime. Private sector is scrimping too much, they want to make more profits so the pay is very less and make them work harder. In case of Federal the Unions have a big say, most of them are not fired and have life time jobs that pays too much for less work. Good post Stacie.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 7 years ago

I'd not want my salary disclosed no matter who I worked for.

Then again, NBA stars have their salaries plastered everywhere and no one seems to mind..


JazLive profile image

JazLive 7 years ago from Decatur

I was a Federal employee at a starting salary of $11,000 per year. I made more as an active duty soldier (Post Viet Nam Era) than my first Federal job. It is true that some positions are over compensated, especially when the selected employee is incompetent. When I resigned, I earned a little over 30k.

If you think posted annual salaries are ridiculous; add compensation for non-work days; like Federal Holidays, annual and sick leave. Divide the annual salary by 2086 hours, it escapes me why an extra 6 hours is necessary for there are only 2080 hours possible in 52 weeks of working 40 hours a day.

Anyway, based on the number of active Federal time; employees get 4 - 8 hours of annual leave bi-monthly. All employees get 4 hours of sick leave bi-monthly. Employees are not suppose to carryover more than 240 hours of annual from pay-period 26 to pay-period 1 of the next paid year. Employees are warned to either use or lose annual leave in excess of 240 hours. The only stipulation that allows excess carryover is in the event excess leave was scheduled and the employee could not take the leave due to scheduling conflict (too many employee requesting to be off in the same time-frame; absenteeism which may cause immediate supervisor to cancel an approved leave request for staffing purposes, ...

Sick leave is continuous accumulation.


Stacie Naczelnik profile image

Stacie Naczelnik 7 years ago from Seattle Hub Author

It's true, the long-term benefits of being a federal employee can be wonderful (imagine: 8 hours of vacation every pay period), but being a federal employee has its downfalls as well (lack of creative freedom, politics, etc.). I was working as a contractor for a federal department--when you start out as a federal employee, you are not well-paid, you have to earn the benefits and higher salaries. I would love to see great benefits and salaries in the private sector as well.


Mark Etting profile image

Mark Etting 6 years ago

There are surely a great many advantages to being a Federal employee!


Fedworker 6 years ago

I'm a current federal employee. The wages in my agency are below what the private sector pays, for the same type of job.

As far as sick pay goes, it accumulates at 4 hrs per pay period, for your entire career with the government. For the newer system (there are older workers still on the old system), you can accumulate thousands of hours of sick leave in your career, but if you don't use them, you LOSE them...you do NOT get paid for any unused sick leave if you leave or retire from the government. And believe me, managers are always on the lookout for people trying to use up sick leave (such as just before they retire or quit)--some managers will actually call your doctor if they think you are abusing sick leave. So lots of people leave the government, and leave hundreds of hours of unused sick leave behind.

Also, a work week is 40 hours, which means you have to be at work for 8 1/2 hours every day to allow for a half hour lunch. When I worked in the private sector, I worked 7 1/2 hour days (allowing for a half hour lunch) and made the same amount of money as I do now working 8 hour days. It makes for LONG days, being at work for 42 1/2 hours a week (and not getting overtime for those 2 1/2 hrs).

Yes, fed. employees get holidays off, just like most private sector jobs. But we don't get personal days, and cannot use sick leave in place of annual leave. For the 1st 3 years of fed. employment, we get 4 hrs of annual leave per 2 weeks, which works out to about 13 days of annual per year. In order to take a 2 week vacation, I'd have to work for nearly a year in order to save up enough time. A lot of private sector jobs give 2 weeks' vacation right off the bat.

Job satisfaction is not always about the money. In the government, it is a very regimented job. As Stacie pointed out, there is no room for creativity or input, and no negotiating your salary, time off, or anything. "It is what it is"--if you think you can do your job more efficiently a different way--forget it. You have to abide by all the rules, no matter how inefficient, outdated, or suppressing they may be.

Because I am older, I will probably stay with the government until I can retire. But if I was 20 something, I would probably be looking for another job, in the private sector.


Jon 6 years ago

"you have to be at work for 8 1/2 hours every day"

"It makes for LONG days, being at work for 42 1/2 hours a week (and not getting overtime for those 2 1/2 hrs)."

Wow !! You've GOT to be kidding me !?!?!?

A whole 2.5 hours unpaid .. You must be VERY spoiled.

Try working 60+ hour weeks and "only" paid for 40 hours.

Try working 80 hour weeks and "only" paid for 40 hours.

One thing I think the govt needs to get in line with, with most of the public sector, is the lack of a pension. So many companies, large and small, are either dropping pensions or scrapping plans for a pension due to global competition. I would love to see the govt -local, state and federal- get with the program and save BILLIONS in taxes that those that have lost their pensions will have to continue to pay for for the rest of their lives while no longer receiving the income.

Get with the real world, get with the program and lower our taxes in the process.


Joe 6 years ago

Jon, you should quit Mcdonalds then and get a real job.


5 years ago

Jon, I'm with you that fed workers should quit bitching. ESPECIALLY in this economic climate. But you must be misguided to think that feds have bloated pensions. I'm a fed, and with the exception of some law enforcement or political positions, our pension gets us 1.1 percent per year, so if I put in a full 30 I get 33 percent of my BASE pay. That's nothing fantastic at all, most local governments have much higher pensions.


Fed Employee 5 years ago

I love the private sector worker's expertise on federal employment life. These comments are laughable, at best. There is room for creativity and change for more productive way of doing things. I hate the public posting of wages, it's no one's business but mine what I earn. I don't understand how people think they have a "right" to know what I earn. Yes, my salary is paid by your taxes. By the same token, you salary is paid by the items I purchase, so why isn't your salary posted? Where is my purchasing money going? I wouldn't trade my job for any job in the private sector. I've worked in the private sector for many years before landing my federal job (obtained at the age of 40). I wouldn't go back to private for any amount of money. The benefits and pay is nice, as well as job security.


Fedguy 5 years ago

I am a Federal employee as well. So far I've been able to work in exotic places like Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. All this while my family goes about their lives waiting for dad to come back home. I too have worked in the public sector but I wouldn't go back. I really didn't like working with civilians. You couldn’t pull a 24 hour shift if you tried and if you did you would call in sick after that. Can't call in sick at the places I've been. As for posting my salary big deal. You have the power to pull the plug on the government at any time you want. I graciously serve all of you in one way or another. You just never know who you may need to call in the middle of the night when no one else would come to help you. Sleep well Jon or whatever your name is and peace to you. By the way did you even vote this year ?


James 5 years ago

"Try working 60+ hour weeks and "only" paid for 40 hours.

Try working 80 hour weeks and "only" paid for 40 hours. "

That would make you an idiot, not a hard worker. I have refused MANY management positions that come with "salary". "Salary" is just another way to say, "We're going to screw you out of your overtime LEGALLY"! I make more than MANY salary people I know personally and have NO interest or desire to work a salaried job.

So Jon if you don't like what you've got, MAKE A CHANGE. Don't drag the rest of into your stupidity and call it normal. It's far from it. That very crap for non-salaried individuals is WHY unions ever took hold anywhere. We as a country need to STOP abusing our workers. Japan, Germany, China all come here and build plants that would normally be union jobs here and the workers never seem to have interest in unionising because they are treated fairly and have decent benefits. I CAN give MULTIPLE examples.

People like you really ruffle my feathers. I got into a federal job because of that VERY stupidity. Butt holes that would come to work as management and tell workers, "I've never taken a sick day in twenty years". Meanwhile the workers are thinking one of two things, that either A: he's an idiot or B: he's superhuman. Normal people get sick. Normal people have families. Normal people work FORTY HOURS per week. Normal people don't live to work, they work to live. NORMAL PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO BE CORPORATE SLAVES! So if you think that 60+ hours without overtime is normal, maybe just maybe, I'm talking about YOU.


CT 5 years ago

I too am like others am a Fed, but I have also spent many years in the private sector. In my experience the worlds are similar, you still have people that are overpaid for what they do.

I do like the security of my Federal job and try not to take that for granted while others are definitely suffering in this economy. Life is about choices, sometimes you make right ones and sometimes you don't. I gave up 6 years of my life to get a degree after losing my house, job and wife in the private sector.

I am thankful for what that taught me, but at the time I wasnt'.

To me in both Federal Service and the Private Sector, it is about Customer Service and the job you do..

As I tell my friends.. I don't have a job I am blessed to have a career.. Career is what I love to do..

Peace be with you.


Sean 5 years ago

I was a federal contractor, but took up a government position that came available. It's probably just my agency, but we're really revamping our entire organization, and I've never felt the kind of "electricity in the air" like I do here, since I worked in startups. At my agency, I generally feel less politics than the large corporations I've worked for, as long as I try to stay away from the contracting rules and regs, etc.

I love my job. I am a highly skilled person in my field, and could work almost anywhere. But, I choose to work here, because I love the people, the work is incredibly rewarding, and it's the first job (again, since working at a startup) that I don't mind getting up in the morning and going to. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some federal agencies are no doubt terrible to work for (just like many corporations are), but I love mine.


issues veritas 5 years ago

The real issue of federal pay versus the private sector is the fact that the private sector benefits have been waning over the years, while the federal benefits have stayed the same or improved.

Take job security, government employees have it and most of the private sector doesn't have it. About a decade ago corporations came up with the "At Will" employment contract. This contract took away any obligation of the employer to keep the employee. The employee was at the will of the employer. Just like "no fault" divorce, no reason is needed to get rid of the employee. The government employee and union employees have protections against frivilous termination.

The "At Will" circmvents the discrimmination issue inovolved in unlawful termination. This is because no reason need be given for the termination.

In today's world, benefits are more important than salary. Most of the private sector has lost the free or cheap health insurance benefits. In those cases where the employee has a benefit, it may be substandard and cost a lot out of the pocket to pay their co-pay. For those in the private sector that don't get any health benefits from their employer, they must pay on their own with after tax dollars.

On the retirement issue, FERS (Federal Employee Retirement System) is a real retirement plan for government employees, while Social Security for the rest of us is an expensive piggy bank for Congress. With FERS you can retire at 55 compared to 65-70 with Social Security. Without going through the advantages of FERS over Social Security, lets see if government employees would trade their FERS for Social Secuity and vice versa. You know the answer, so why don't all the workers in the country have a private retirement system like FERS?

If government employees are public servants, then how do servants have better benefits than the master?


Blessed to be a Fed 5 years ago

I have always been very grateful for my federal job. I, too, worked many years in the private sector. Putting with unreasonable supervisors, there way or the highway attitude, on-call positions 24 hours/day, numerous lay-offs with "keep focused on your work, otherwise you could lose your severance pay". I've done it all. Now, I have more work and will never possibly get caught up because of the hiring freeze, but I have reasonable supervisors, job security, great benefits, and excellent pay (GS 12, rapidly moving to Step 4). I feel bad for those in the private sector being laid-off. I feel for families who are struggling with the cut-backs. I hope we all can get through these terrible times.


issues veritas 5 years ago

I don't see any challenges to my comments from the federal workers.


Karen 5 years ago

I am a Federal Employee, but I first worked in the private sector. In the Private Sector, my pay was more, the workload was less, and I recieved more benefits for the premium that I paid. Not only health insurance, but significant discounts for hospitalizations and medications. I did not receive as many paid holidays. I would have stayed with them, but I could not tolerate having to cater to anyone and everyone associated to the boss (wife, friend, cousin, children, etc.). At times, I would be afraid to enter the elevator, because you never knew who might not like the way that you looked or the way that you looked at them and it just might be a friend of the Director.

As a Federal Employee, I too am swamped with work. I have never worked so hard before in my life. I am grateful to have a job. The benefits are ok and the longer I am employed, the better the benefits become. It touches my heart when my clients say "You deserve more. They don't pay you enough for all that you do".

Initially, I felt that publicizing a person's actual salary was going too far. When this news became available at my job, it simply made the environment sort of hostile and work production reduced. Why? Because people realized that others were making more than them and doing less work.

Initially, I was pissed that my


issues veritas 5 years ago

Karen,

It appears from what you wrote that your private sector job was a long long time ago. The private sector has been going down hill for the past twenty years. The benefits are lsss each year and less employers offer benefits. There is no job security since the at will employment was spread around the private sector. Social Security is a bad joke in comparison to your FERS retirement.

Their are a lot of crappy low paying non benefit jobs in the private sector.

Millions of workers in the private sector lost their jobs in the last year, how many Federal Employees lost their jobs? Millions of private sector workers received pay cuts and reduced benefits, how many Federal Employees had this experience? Most Federal Employees can retire under FERS, ten or more years earlier than those on Social Security. FERS has better pensions and unlike Social Security you don't have to pay into the system from the time you began work until you retire and then if you earn wages after you retire, Social Security is still taken out of your wages.

There are many jobs in the private sector where people put in extra hours without getting paid at all. There are many jobs in the private sector where the bosses are mistreating their employees and there is no one to protect them. When you put the Federal Employee package up against those in the private sector the Fed package is heads up better.

 


DoD Civilian 5 years ago

I actually stumbled upon this page looking to see what salary is posted for myself (can't find the site I went to years ago). As a fed employee, I fully agree with my salary being posted, and I believe ALL fed employees' salaries should be posted. Just like the hundreds of pages in the recent govt spending bill are disclosed so the taxpayers will (eventually) know where their money goes.

As far as govt versus private sector, based on current job ads I could easily get a 30-40% pay increase by moving back into the private sector, i.e., the real world (I spent the first 5 years out of college there). The pay cut that I took coming to the govt covers better health benefits, more vacation and sick leave, and a bit more job security (what I have seen in the govt is that you rarely get laid off per se, they just stop giving you raises, offer you incentives to quit, give you crappy jobs until you get "fed" up and quit, or they relocate you to a place where you don't want to go, so you quit... but they can do this whenever they want, there's no "union protection" against this). These are the big reasons why the govt can manage to attract people while offering much lower salaries. Without these, why would ANYONE want my job???

If I wanted to work 60-80 hours/week and make a LOT more money, I'd go back to the private sector. And you can bet your tail that most of the extra pay would be saved so that when -- not if -- I got laid off, I'd have a few months salary to live on while seeking another job. The rest of the extra pay would cover larger health insurance costs and saving for retirement from every paycheck (as opposed to paying into FERS out of every paycheck). Job security, health care costs, and retirement savings are moot points if you are financially responsible.


issues veritas 5 years ago

DoD Civilian,

You can't compare apples to oranges.

A job is worth Salary + Benefits + Job Security

it is the total of these three components that need to be compared.

With the economy in the state that it is currently and all of the unemployment do you really think that you could get a job that easily in the private sector?

BTW, you would be paying Social Security and Medicare out of every pay check and you would be paying not just until retirement ( which would be 67-70 years and not 55 year old) and you wouldn't get the same retirement.

Health insurance can run to over a thousand dollars a month for some families and have a high co pay.

Most familes in the private sector don't have enugh money to pay for their housing and basic needs much less money to invest.

You must have graduated from college in the 1950s because the real world doesn't resemble your image of it.

If Social Security is so good then why do you have FERS.

I would like to hear more stories from government employees about the real world.


Teri 5 years ago

I work for the best government agency - Social Security in Baltimore. I am challenged, respected, have good management backing me. I work hard and give a good days work for my pay. I am grateful for the job security and benefts and know that I have no worries about losing my job and home. And that next January, I'll receive some raise even if its a fraction of past years.

We do a lot of work for a small budget and have a customer base that appreciates us. Checks are mailed timely and accurately. Yes, mistakes sometimes happens but our success rate is nearly 100 percent. Our web site is ranked highest in the government and so is our customer service.

I'm proud of my job and my co-workers and we all resent the tired jokes of fed workers on the dole. A large number of us work hard and are proud of the job we do.


issues veritas 5 years ago

Teri-

I hope that you were not counting me in the people making jokes.

My point is the system not the job done by its workers.

Social Security is not as good as FERS period.

I don't doubt that you and your agency our doing a good job.

Would you trade in your FERS for Social Security?


Fed Guy 5 years ago

Good to see there are people concerned with what other people make . I for one also do not care about whether you know my salary or not. I don't know yours and that’s ok with me issues Veritas. You focus on FERS in some of your statements. Federal employees pay the same taxes you do. And depending on where you live you may pay more. If a person gets a federal job later on in their career they won't be able to retire at 55. Check the rules. There are birth years that equate to retirement age and they can be found at http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fers/eligibility.asp . If you make too much you can reduce you social security benefit to $0.00 . Federal wages are established by civilian wage comparison. They just don't pull numbers out of hat. I would suggest you research first. Spend less time blogging sir. You tag is all over the Internet which means you have plenty of time to do research.

Health benefits and working conditions. That’s what most of us work for not to become millionaires. How about that corporate bailout. Those were civilians right ? There aren't any federal employees I know that get balloon retirements. Those salaries are posted as well yet you pick on the FED employees. Interesting.

Federal employees do loose their jobs by the way. It happens when jobs are "outsourced". The FAA does this now. Safety concern there ?? Like I said..do some valid research and then come on back. Everyone has opinions and you seem to love yours.


issues veritas 5 years ago

boo hoo Fed Guy,

I did research all the facts and figures about the Federal Jobs and put them in my hubs. You made your comment personal, remember that.

Are you ready to trade your benefits and FERS for the dearth of benefits in the private sector and take Social Security and put your job at risk and at the whim of your employer? Most of the private sector works on an at will type employment, where the employer doesn't even have to give you a reason to let you go. Losing jobs because of being outsourced happens more in the private sector than in government. The private sector has lost millions of jobs, and companies have gone out of business, this doesn't happen in government. Federal agencies and departments can't go bankrupt, so when they are running in the red, the taxpayers have to bail them out. Yes, I know that you pay taxes as well, but you should also be against bailing out badly run government agencies.

You are the federal employee that I am concerned about and you made the challenge about research but all I read from you is hot air with no substance.

Put  up or sh,,,l

The bottom line is you wouldn't change your job and your benefits and your retirement and job security for any of those in the private sector.

All those Federal Holidays and Vacation Time are not taken by many in the private sector.

Don't bother to answer, unless you take the gas out of your demeanor.

At least use the spell checker.

 


issues veritas 5 years ago

Fed Guy

How is it that the public servants (government workers) are entitled to a different and better system than the people that they are supposed to be working for?

Why isn't the government workforce run the same as the workforce in the private non union sector?

It seems that government has the motto, do as I say and not as I do.

I am sure that we could sell out Ebay, with FERS to Social Security swaps.

I suspect that you are the exception to the average government worker in that they know what a great deal they got when they went to work for the government. You appear to be in denial.

Do you think that with today's unemployment (10% in California) that comparing salaries is meaningful. Your secured job earnings trump all of those that are unemployed and have no salary. Many of them aren't even on unemployment any more.

I think it is ironic, that people comment on other people's comments not having facts and figures and support, while they themselves provide none of their own.

I am a guest on this hub and I don't feel right with this dialogue. I would be more than happy to go on one of your hubs to discuss this further, or you can comment on one of my hubs.


Fed Guy (Hurt Feelings) 5 years ago

Ew you are right. I am the wrong one. You are also correct in stating that I would not trade my benefits for yours.

That is your right to question. I am not your typical Fed employee either. Most of my work is done in other places outside the office serving my country and people like you and I am happy to do so. I don't make what people make on the "outside" because you won't find my job on the outside.

I am a guest here as well and I do take your comments personal. But like I said it is your right. As for the "Spell checker" comment. What ever dude!

Have a better day and remember you as a citizen of these United Sates have the option to pull that “Money” plug at anytime. You do vote don't you?

Sorry if I offended you or anyone else on this site.


issues veritas 5 years ago

Fed

Yes, I voted but my team wasn't on the ballot.

When the Federal Government has one system for themselves and another inferior system for the rest of the country, why would they pull the plug on the money for that funds their system. The majority of voters, vote either Row A or Row B and neither row has a desire to kill their golden goose.

It just doesn't make sense for us to pay for the premium retirement system enjoyed by the government and at the same time have the government that created the inferior Social Security system blame the recipients of SS.

If Social Security was so good, why won't you trade your FERS for it?

Does this sound like the work of a country that was founded by the people, for the people and of the people?

Thanks for returning to the issue.

Spell check was a cheap shot, as I sometimes fail to do it. Guilty.

 


RR 5 years ago

$30. -$40.00 an hour???? HAH, I'm a letter carrier for the USPS, I WISH, I made that much.

As to overtime??? what's that? We have downtime EVERYDAY. No more overtime at USPS.


issues veritas 5 years ago

Stacie, I didn't mean to take over your hub but the subject just prompts my fingers to respond.

RR -- I have the greatest respect for the USPS, especially the letter carriers, The USPS is one of those bastard sons of the federal government. Years ago, the USPS was annexed from the real government departments, although I believe that they still have many of the attributes of the federal departments in job benefits, retirement and job security.

Making more than $40 an hour doesn't help if you don't have the same benefits as those found in the government and union jobs. The chance of a government working losing their job is nil in comparison to those in the private sector.

Many people in the private sector that have salaried jobs, usually put in more than 40 hours a week for only 40 hour pay.


Worker 5 years ago

Issues Veritas - you are so concerned with FERS versus Social Security and the other benefits federal employees have. Go to www.usajobs.gov and find a new job that you can enjoy without all this bitterness. The government is always hiring.


issues veritas 5 years ago

Worker -- an ambiguous term

The country doesn't exist to support the government and its workers, The government exists to support the country.

My bitterness as you call it, is because the government is too obese and its burden far outweighs its benefit.

We have the welfare group in this country that get freebies from the government and then we have the welfare group that are government workers. These government workers are supposed to be public servants and the people are supposed to be their masters. Do people that work for Donald Trump as his servant get the same benefits that he does from making his living.

The answer has to be NO, so why should public servants get benefits and job security that most of the non government, non union workers in the private sector can get from their employers.

This is not to say that all or even most government workers are no doing a good job, but there are a lot of them that don't pull their weight and you know who you are in that category. My point is that there are too many government workers on the payroll and the people in the private sector are taxed to pay for them. Yes, government workers get taxed but they have a secure job and great benefits that are in a class by themselves.

You say that the government is always hiring but you don't say that the public sector is laying off in the millions. There is something basically wrong that government should be immune to an economy that has crashed and burned. It is like Donald Trump losing his job but his head butler keeps hiring additional staff and giving huge retirement awards to staff that is going into retirement.

Drug dealers are always selling drugs, so your solution is to become a drug dealer.


VA Worker 5 years ago

I am a veteran with a bachelor of science degree working at a VA hospital. I am under the FERS retirement system and I DO pay into social security. I am 60 years old and do not expect to retire for at least the next 3 years. I have 28 years of federal service including military time. By the way, I received a net pay of about $100 per month in 1969; how’s that for living the ‘fat life’?

I could elect not to pay into the Thrift Savings Plan and rely strictly on social security when I retire. But why would I want to do that if I can elect to pay into a retirement system? The Civil Service Retirement System and FERS are very different. I could blame my co-workers who are under the CSRS for being treated differently, but what would that accomplish? Private sector employees have the choice of enrolling in IRA plans and many companies have (or had) 401K plans. Why would they not want to look into retirement planning and pay into a fund that would supplement their social security?

If any writer has an issue with federal holidays, I suggest that the complaints be taken to Congress. Federal workers do not have the authority to abolish holidays enacted by Congress.

If people in the private sector are working 60 to 80 hours per week and getting paid for 40 hours, I suggest they look into the Fair Labor Standards Act. If an employer ‘suffers to permit’ a wage earner to work beyond the 40-hour basic work week, they are obligated to pay for the work. The FLSA addresses payment and overtime rates. The issue is that many employees feel they will enhance their employment standing by donating their time.

And finally, a little cheese with that whine might make the issues a bit more palatable!


Fed employee 5 years ago

Ah, issues veritas. Another private employee complaining about the benefits of the feds, about the over burdened system. I would suggest you go to USA Jobs and post your resume, but know what? Most agencies aren't hiring! At least, Social Security Admin isn't.

Yes, people may retire at 55 (only if they have enough years in). Hmmm, who now does the jobs that those people were doing? Oh yes, the remaining employees. Not much work, you say? WRONG! With the outstanding number of layoffs, more and more people are claiming disabilities just to get some income.

And you know what? YOUR tax dollars pay for these frivolous claims. Broken pinky finger, amputated big toe, stiff neck. Of course they won't be allowed. But, you know what? People have the right to file. We are required to take our time to process the paperwork to get a decision on their disability claim. Talk about a waste of taxpayers money.

Don't forget, all these extra claims are in ADDITION to the workloads retirees were doing that were not replaced.

Why don't you focus your energy on REAL issues? Why don't you do some research to find out exactly what goes on in an agency?

I am paid very well for my job (approaching $72k in 09/2009 - GS12-step 3, look it up). I would never trade my job for any private job. I cannot retire at 55 because I will not have enough years in. I will, however, retire at 62. Not just because of my job. I can retire because of wise financial decisions. Living in a modest house, my newest car is a 2001 Honda, the other is a 97 Dodge. We don't take extravagant vacations. We don't shop at hooty-tooty clothing stores, we buy our groceries at Aldi's. I refuse to charge anything on a credit card, we keep an emergency fund at all times in the bank.

What does this get me? My wife is a stay-at-home mom who does not have to work. A big vacation every 2 or 3 years, and no financial stress.

Seems your biggest issue is that you cannot retire at 55. Well, neither can I. But, maybe if you take our lifestyle to heart, you too can retire at 62.


Texas 5 years ago

If you only knew what truly takes place in the federal government your article would be significantly different. No offense, but a more research would have revealed that privatizing the federal government, which costs hundreds of millions more, has bee the plan of some congressmen. Unfortunately for the taxpayers, persons employed by big-money private corporations who get the contracts, are inexperienced with federal work and normally produce much lower grade work for a big price that is hidden from the public.


flread45 profile image

flread45 4 years ago from Montana

It is not true about having to wait until 62 to retire,as peace officer positions can retire at age 55.

Just try to get a Government job if your 60 in a peace officer setting and you will see.Try the B.L.M. or the Forest service and try to get hired as a fire fighter or peace officer..


Private Worker 4 years ago

I am at a private company with good pay and good benefits; I have worked many, many hours in excess of 40 at different periods of my life, am facing less job security, and have experienced continued constant erosion of benefits and pay. However, I am amazed at the bitterness and hostility to the federal government workers expressed in this post. The little I have had to do with the government, I am impressed by its workers and, rather than being jealous of their situation, I am glad that they are not in the plight that those of us in private sector find ourselves in. I find it appalling that because some are in a bad situation, they look around and demand that all join them....


Postal Employee 4 years ago

First, get your facts straight. Federal tax dollars do not pay postal employee wages. The Postal Service is self-sufficient and pays its employees through the business of selling postal products and service. I get sick and tired of people complaining about postal employees, how much we make, and that they pay my wages. Guess what, you don't! Second, if you think postal employees are paid too much then quite you job in the private sector and go work for the government.


new Fed 4 years ago

Many federal employees have salaries that are not paid by tax dollars. Some industries pay assessments to the gov't or directly to specific agencies and those assessments fund the salaries of employees of the agency that provides oversight to that industry.

One thing I have learned about federal work, is that the 40 hour restriction actually motivates many people to work harder and get their work done, because they recognize the benefit of being able to leave after working 8 hours with no repercussions is a good one. Simultaneously, they also know they must do good work, or they won't be in line for promotion opportunities, raises, etc. The strict 40 hour work week is actually a great motivator.

In many private sector jobs I have held, it was typical for some people (generally those w/out a life, or those with family problems) to just kind of hang around for long hours, and create an expectation that others (subordinates) stick around as well.

Often times, what goes on in private sector jobs is not really 12 hour work days; but rather, its a lot of dawdling around, sitting in meetings, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I know that a lot of people work very hard. Lawyers, accountants, doctors and other professionals are forced to work hard, largely because there is a direct correlation between hours worked/billed and a firm's profitability. I don't envy people who are brow beaten and have no choice but to work 10 + hour days, every day, including week-ends. It's unkind and unhealthy for most workers.

However, what I think people on the outside of Fed work don't realize is that many gov't agencies actually operate with a great deal of efficiency. Because it is known that people will be walking out the door like clockwork at 5:00 PM, there is not a lot of time wasted sitting around in meetings, watching boring slides, and hypothesizing about how to solve a problem.

I do think there is creativity, though. Many government jobs require a lot of thought and analysis. People are paid for their ideas and problem solving ability, as opposed to simply being paid to push a button.


Jeff 4 years ago

Postal Employees do not use a dollar of tax monies, and haven't for decades! So...their salaries should NOT be posted as a means "to see where tax dollars are going". The same protection to our salary information should be given as to the private sector.


Don 4 years ago

I am a retired federal civil service employee. I retired two years ago after 40+ years. Put my salary, my pension, whatever I don't care. As a matter of fact I will TELL you what my pension is. My gross monthly pension is an bout $3,300. My net is about $2,700. My wife nets another $2,100. So, if you think government employment is so much better, put in an application, like I did. No one came looking for me to see if I wanted a job. Same for gov. employees. You think the private sector is so much better? Hit the road Jack. When I first started, my salary was so low it was an embarrassment. I stuck it out, got kind of lucky with raises over the years. What the powers that be really want is for all of us to be jealous of one another, so we lose sight of the REAL problem. THEM.


susanlang profile image

susanlang 4 years ago

We all have some problem with goverment. When the cows come home, I heard things will suddenly get better... any of you hear that? Funny thing is...I've been watching my fence and I haven't seen any cows.


Hard worker 4 years ago

Question: What to do?

Facts:

• I’m in my early 50’s

• Served in the Military for 4 years and then left

• Had a decent career with a corporation (I was very good at my job – not intended as bragging)

• Corporate scandal erased all of my retirement

• I was laid off (RIF)

• It took six months to find another job (at less than a 1/3 of my former salary)

• Found a better job a year or so later

• Another RIF, laid off after 8months

• It took six months to find another job …this time as a contractor for the Air Force, (it’s awesome and I’m very proud of what I get to do)

• Two years into this job (with decent pay), and we are being told that later this year (2010) we will no longer be contractors and the government is going to hire us. Great! I think.

Keep in mind; I am in my 50s, $0 for retirement. According some of your comments above, I may be getting a 30-40% pay cut (the government is not telling us anything as of yet).

If you were in my shoes, what would you do? …

Stick it around and see what happens or find another job now while I have a higher salary? Keeping in mind that one of the first thing recruiters ask you when you are looking for a job is what your current salary. (It seems to be their way to gauge you).

I also saw that once you sign on as a FED employee you are limited on the jobs you can get (security issue?) if you do decide to go back to the private sector. Seems like a good way to fence people in.


Fedworker 4 years ago

I think issues veritas or whatever is long gone but just in case... I wanted to clarify something he/she continued to ask over and over and over and over and over again...

FERS is a pension plan that INCLUDES Social Security coverage (which means we pay into the pension AND pay Social Security taxes). We will receive FERS IN ADDTION to Social Security, so your rampant arguing about "Would you trade your FERS for Social Security, Would you would you would you" is a question that has no answer, because there is no trade, we receive both.

Now you may have meant CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) in which federal workers ONLY paid into the pension system and the worker had NO Social Security coverage at all. The government scrapped that plan in the 1980s and came out with FERS which, again, INCLUDES Social Security. Many, many pensions are still left in the private sector that also INCLUDE Social Security. Social Security is not a bad system and it works different depending on how much you made. If you earn low wages over most of your life roughly around 80% or more of your wages will be replaced by Social Security if you retire at your full retirement age, better than any pension I've ever heard of. Someone who is a high earner may only have 15% or 20% of his wages replaced by Social Security. In other words, it's a weighted system to help ensure that lower income poeople who cannot save much money for retirement are able to survive in retirement. It was NEVER meant to be a PENSION PLAN. It was NEVER meant to be the SOLE source of income in retirement. It was meant to be coupled with savings AND a pension plan. That's right, a pension plan. If you are upset and looking to blame someone, blame skyrocketing health insurance premiums, because more employers would be able to afford retirement benefits if they weren't looking at insurance hikes of 10% to 15% a year or more.


othehumanity 4 years ago

The fact that people in the private sector are getting screwed but people in government aren't might not mean that the feds are cheaters.

Rather, that 30k more they make may be what the rest of the country chose not to earn when they elected Reagan, who busted unions and inaugurated our era of squeezing the middle class.

A sad but understandable reaction of people who are taking it up the a$$ is to bitch and moan about anyone who isn't. Fairness doesn't have much to do with it.


DMP 4 years ago

issues veritas either got a job, retired, or died. some people are just plain "cranky pants" when it comes to the subject of federal employees. there are a lot of us who don't pull in the big $$$$$$$ and work our bums off becasue we LOVE our jobs and know that what we do day in and day out will benefit millions of people through our reaserch.


DM 4 years ago

Simply put: We need government workers and we need private workers. There are pros and cons to both forms of employment. We don't need to denigrate them. We need to recognize their value to society. Yes, government workers provide services and value to the community and economy. Also, government workers are protected by certain laws, not because they are special, better, or privileged. It is because of something called “Tammany Hall.” During the Gilded Age, political patronage was a serious issue. William "Boss" Twee (democrat) ran the most corrupt political machines in the country's history. Tweed and his Tammany Hall cronies ruled over New York. This spilled over into Federal government politics. James Garfield appointed many corrupt men to office, which provoked the ire of the Charles J. Guiteau, who later assassinated Garfield in 1881. To prevent further political violence and to curb public outrage, Congress passed the Pendleton Act which set up the Civil Service System. It was designed and has since functioned to minimize politician influence over government jobs. You don’t want politicians changing out government workers every 4 years. Many of this country’s greatest innovations come from government, or government funded research. You’re reading this on one of them; the Internet.


prairiehouse 4 years ago

In 2005 Federal Workers made 50% more then their counterparts in the Private Sector. Also, Life Time Employment, Incredible Health Care Benefits, and Retirement. It's almost impossible for them to lose their job. The best part is they get to "stick-it" to the American Taxpayers who pay their salaries, etc. This is called American Socialism. The reason why the Feds feared the Mafia is because they are "The Mafia" and have a "License From Congress To Steal". In the arena of corruption, Washington, DC makes Ancient Rome look like a "Tom & Jerry" cartoon. I'm from D.C. originally, and know how it works there; "Money Talks, and Bullshit Walks". Warning to Private Sector America: "Don't drop the soap in the shower, and bend over because the Federal Government and it's gang of arrogant, self-serving and greedy employees are standing behind you."


itsaloha 4 years ago

Any tips on getting a federal position? I am 61 yrs old with ten years civil service with the City of LA. I quit that job and move to Florida as a career change and lost my job a couple years ago. I have been trying ever since to get a federal position through USAjobs and other federal job sites with little luck. I had a telephonic interview with the CIA a couple years ago for a human resources position but none since then.


Reinstated FED 4 years ago

I left a federal job when I was 33 year old because I thought I had more potential in the private sector, rationalizing that I could make more money, get big bonuses, and be more creative and independent. That was true to a point. Then came the reality of mergers, layoffs, reorganizations, lower revenues, etc. After applying to about 200 federal jobs I finally prevailed and got a federal job at 50% of my private company salary. Six years later I make more that I ever made in the private sector (moved 3 times) and am back in my home state with a cumulative total of 22 years federal service. I will stay here until I retire. Say what you want about your skills and expertise and abilities and creativity-----nothing beats a 40 hour week and job security with great benefits.


winers go away 4 years ago

Gee when I started as a GS 4 making less then majority of the private sector, I was even laughed at poeple would actually say why you even work their, well I have bounced around to different agencies and now a GS 13 with 25% after 18 yrs, now everyone wants a job with me!


Federal Employee 4 years ago

The only way the government can employee such a large workforce is through taxation. The smaller the government is the better our standards of living are.


Fed Guest 4 years ago

I worked in the private sector for a couple years before getting a job with the Fed--it took 2 years and 9 months from the time I submitted a resume until I received a job offer. I was thrilled because of the job security and benefits, but nothing could've prepared me for the heavy workload in my agency. We've experienced a dwindling workforce through attrition due to budget shortfalls and the unfortunate reality is that we are losing our more experienced workers at a much faster rate than they can be replaced (if replaced at all), while at the same time our workload is increasing even faster than the rate of attrition. I work for Social Security, and although we are facing increased disability and retirement workloads as a result of higher unemployment rates and the increase in baby boomer retirees, the best we can hope for to keep up with the demand is that more claimants will do more of their business over the internet. The problem is, as I've learned since working for the government, that technological implementation and development, improvements, and increases in a sufficiently trained workforce takes what seems like three to four times longer than the private sector because of all the bureaucracy involved. This makes for an extremely stressful working environment and sometimes decreased morale among employees. My heart goes out to people in the private sector who have lost their jobs and are having trouble finding work. However, a lot of these losses are a result of decreased demand of products and/or services relative to the depressed economy. But what can be said about a dwindled workforce that has to process 130% more work than it did in previous years with more staff? Government work is far from cushy, and I work extremely hard to earn every penny that I am paid. I frequently work long hours away from my family in an effort to feel some sense of satisfaction that I have served as many people as I possibly could given the constraints of time and limited staff, and knowing that no matter how much I do, there will always be a backlog. My job is extremely challenging and I really wish people on the outside had even a taste of what we deal with on a regular basis--you'd probably agree that we need more staff, shorter and more efficient training, and faster implementation of technological resources to help us do our jobs more efficiently and effectively. However, these issues that we've had for years go unheard and we are forced to just play the hand we're dealt the best way we know how. So, for as much as we do and face, the compensation is definitely justified. If anyone wants to complain about something, contact your Congressman and push for more new hires and more effective and efficient ways to help us better help you.


Bill 4 years ago

Government jobs completely blow away private sector salaries here in Nevada. The difference is incredible. Life really is unfair.


Howard  4 years ago

I was a government employee for one year 40 years ago. It would have been an easy piece of cake for me if I had stayed, but the actual work was useless paper pushing. I did not qualify for the military because of poor hip joints that continually left me flat of my back. I thought that the work as a civilian engineer for a military base might make a difference. I was wrong because the work was of no value; employees were more concerned about which politician would get them the highest pay increases. I quit and moved into the private sector. It was a much lower paying job but was more demanding and thus more satisfying. When I saw those Vietnamese people fall from the helicopters as our troops left Saigon, I knew that America would never win another war. A very self-centered communist hippie movement destroyed our sense of moral focus that now has been all but abandoned to what can only be described as willful submission to communist ideology with the eventual total destruction of the private sector.


Freedom 4 years ago

The question is not "Is the job challenging?" The problem with any non-military, non-police job is that someone must be governed in order to justify the existence of the position, and that is part of the mentality that we must all be governed. The gulf oil spill never should have resulted in such chaos that occurred when so many government agencies wanted to get into the act. A woman in Atlanta, Texas left a hospital after receiving a radioactive Barium pill that was supposed to dissolve and concentrate in areas of concern so that X-ray's could detect of any possible abnormalities. On the way home, she got sick and regurgitated the pill beside the road. All sorts of agencies got involved to find the pill with HAZMAT eventually getting involved. The absurdity of this is obvious. Government exists to control the governed with the eventual virtual imprisonment through regulations and agencies that must justify their existence by creating boundaries of control.


Ryan 4 years ago

Government jobs earning more than private jobs? Hah! Blame CEOs who are driving companies into the ground and earn $100m a year and then paid $50m just to leave the company. Top level managers in the government have their salaries capped at $155k. There are way more managers in the private sector earning much more than that. I graduated with honors from a big school with a business degree and make $42k as an analyst for a big agency. My friend didn't make as good of grades as I did and graduated with the same degree. He makes nearly $18k more than I do and has the same job title in the private sector. If you want to compare fed salaries to private sector salaries, you have to compare the same job titles. Average starting salary of an accountant is $10k less in the government ($38,790). So for all you guys complaining about the government, why not work for us eh?


Barry 4 years ago

FERS and Social Security are not mutually exclusive. FERS employees get both. The CSRS old time retirement didn't include Social Security but the percentages were higher. Not many federal employees are still on CSRS because it stopped in 1984. Of course, if you started before then you were grandfathered in. CSRS is really a great retirement pension plan. Even so, it doesn't compare with many state retirement pension plans. For example, many California retirees - such as police and firemen - get 90% of their highest paid year. So, if they work one year for $100,000 but earned much less before then, they get #90,000 a year for life. Police and Fire get to retire at age 50 with just 20 years in. The federal system doesn't come close.


Justin 3 years ago

"Normal people get sick. Normal people have families. Normal people work FORTY HOURS per week. Normal people don't live to work, they work to live. NORMAL PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO BE CORPORATE SLAVES! So if you think that 60+ hours without overtime is normal, maybe just maybe, I'm talking about YOU."

Fine your normal.

Normal people don't need two cars (one being an SUV), normal people don't need 2 weeks of vacation, Normal people don't eat out all the time, Normal people don't own their own homes, Normal people don't save money for retirement and ussually rely on their children for assistence later in life...

Why are we even having this conversation. At some point the public sector is gonna get audited... At some point. Reason you can't audit it before a systemic problem is because its a minority safe haven... blah blah blah...

We need to live within our means/


Phillip 3 years ago

Fed Empoloyee said

"it's no one's business but mine what I earn. I don't understand how people think they have a "right" to know what I earn. Yes, my salary is paid by your taxes. By the same token, you salary is paid by the items I purchase, so why isn't your salary posted? "

If that wasn't so maddening, it would be funny. It is every bit our business what federal employees make. "Nobody posted YOUR personal salary, btw) We pay your salary, weather we think you are useful or not. And if we refuse, we go to jail. You,on the other hand, get a product when you purchase a private sector good, and you choose that product and agree to pay the price for it. We private sector people should at least be able to know what we are paying for and for how much, even if we can't agree to pay the price for it. The day that it is none of our business what the federal employee earns it the day this is not longer a country worth fighting for. What kind of a country do you think this is?


Jason 3 years ago

Time for a serious federal funding cut. Let's layoff 15% of the workforce, reduce wages, and eliminate any federal pension or retirement benefits. Federal employees should only get social security and whatever they have invested back into the private industry.


Stuart 3 years ago

Nice flame war we got going here. I'm a fed. I make about 70k a year with a Master's Degree in Applied Mathematics. I work directly with soldiers, sailors, and airmen to detect IEDs. The work is incredibly rewarding and I go home every day knowing that I have helped save lives. Sure, I could make about 90k or more in the private sector with similar benefits at a defense contractor or "think tank." But I wouldn't have the same job satisfaction. It's not all about the money and benefits. Enjoy what you do and you never have to work a day in your life.


Roy 3 years ago

I am a federal employee and I work very hard for my money. And I beleive most other do as well. I work about 50 hours a week, havent seen 10 cents in overtime. Its not authorized, but the work needs to get done. I get frustrated with many times but I have a good job and I am thankful that I have a job to go to and complain about it.


StarboardLean 3 years ago

For what it's worth...I recently left a private sector job for a federal government job. It's total baloney that fed jobs pay more...I am making slightly less than I made in private industry and I have a position with WAY more responsibility (went from a non-supervisory project management position in private industry to directly supervising 20 people and running an entire division in the gov't). I made the switch because: 1) it's challenging work, and I enjoy a challenge; 2) it's great experience and awesome resume fodder if I ever decide to go private again...I will make a TON of bucks; 3) I wanted some JOB SECURITY. Private industry is a bloodbath and I have already experienced the joys of being laid off and having to dump price on a house to sell it and move to take a job I hated. No thanks. 4) For the first time since I left the military, I get a decent amount of vacation! But believe me...as an engineer with an advanced degree, I could make more in private industry, and I am having a very tough time recruiting new engineers to work for me. Most new grads are looking at a $20,000 pay cut to take a fed job instead of private industry (BS engineer with no experience comes in at GS-5...look it up..ridiculously low starting salary for an engineer). So why does the data reported in the press make it appear that feds make more money? Because: 1) lots of fed employees are in DC, and the locality pay is high there; 2) the fed work force is aging because of hiring freezes back in the 90's. Fed employees get step increases for longevity for about 20 years, and if you add that to COLA increases, on average the increases are probably higher than those in private industry. They are definitely steadier (less volatile), especially compared to private industry's wage increases over the last few years. But as the older feds retire, you will see the average salaries trend down significantly. Most of this is about demographics, not about individuals being overpaid for their work.


elaine 3 years ago

Most of the posts aren't consistent so I will just start off by stating... as a federal employee my pay is no different from the job I left in the private sector...as a matter of fact I have been so stressed about paying my bills that I am thinking whats the point, to deal with strict rules, eyes watching your every moment...dealing with the type of work and the skill set you have to have why can't federal employees make a little more than other private sector jobs? Just because the public is involved? federal employees also pay taxes, so just like you we are taxpayers paying the same amount of taxes...? therefore I am lost as if to think federal employees are on a different planet, or in a different country without adhering to the same rules and regulations that our government has set forth. Let's talk about private sectors for a minute regarding work and pay. Maybe the CEO and CFO's could pay their employees the same amount of money if their pockets weren't busy being filled. I've worked in the banking industry for years now, and making pennies compared to thousands is a joke. Yet CEO's can bring companies down, get fired and still get a severance pay more then their regular pay? where do they do that at, oh yeah America. Railroad companies also pay their employees very good pay more so than federal employees, a clerk pushing pens and paper makes 18.00hr whereas a clerk in a federal position makes only 25k to 27k a year per usajobs.gov Of course like most jobs that offer bonuses and pay increases they could make more money after they have vested more time. So I am still clueless on this debate. Federal jobs allows a certain security, and ALL have to follow the same guidelines to move ahead, there's no kissing tail, brown nosing that will get you that corner office, it is hard work and no play and I haven't seen where it has been anything else.


Matt 3 years ago

If you think that federal employees make too much money. Then get a federal job, but keep in mind some federal jobs are over paid and some are under paid. Most federal funds go to the war in Iraq and secret operations. Sure cut my 17,000 dollar pension, compare that to the trillion dollar war.


sad the top win again 3 years ago

So sad the ones against the fed employees should really be against wall street and hold them account for screwing people.I was laids off from my private sector job but I'm not going to wish bad on the hard working federal employees..remember some of these employees protect you.I can't believe these people want less for the fed employees that will just make it worse for you because you are justifying wall street.Just remember the top 2% are laughing at how stupid the 98%of us really are.


pdquick 3 years ago

Joe, if you're working 60 hours a week and only getting paid for 40, and your job is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, your employer is breaking the law. A federal government worker will help you get the back pay to which you are entitled. Good luck. Keep us posted.


dusy7969 profile image

dusy7969 3 years ago from San Diego, California

Yeah, what Jon said!!!

Pdquick - A federal government worker will help you get the back pay to which you are entitled. Good luck. Keep us posted. --- Which federal worker? Let me know which one will help, and I'll go see him right now.


retired&luvit 3 years ago

I worked for the federal gov for 35 years. I started out at a low salary and retired making $113,000.00 a year, my highest level of education was high school as were many of my co workers. My pension is just under $68000.00 a year. I can honestly say there was no stress, my jobs were varied over the years and I did not work nearly as hard as I would have in the private sector. All though lunch is 30 minutes, most Feds I knew took an hour and half for lunch. When I left I had saved enough vacation days to get a check for $18,000.00. Most folks could do this because they took off and didn't claim the days. There is rarely any accountability and most folks were just copying what their managers did. There is no accountabilty to feds and getting fired does not happen. If you screwed up you moved up. We also received nice bonuses and when traveling made you extra money. I knew a fed who ran two gas stations when he should have been working, I knew feds who ran realestate buinesses (this was a very popular side job) from work, and other businesses and everyone knew about it and just accepted it. I am grateful for my $68,000.00 a year pension, I cannot collect social security because I did not pay into it for enough years. But because of my generous salary I was able to invest money and retire with my pension and a very nice cushion of invested money. I also have Medicare A, pay for Medicare B at a little over $100 a month and since I was a federal employee I was eligible to take my health care plan with me. This has been a god send because it only cost me a little over $100 a month and this pays for the 20% medicare doesn't pay for a major medical event and it pays for my prescription drugs. Most of my retired friends from the private sector don't have pensions or their pensions are half what mine is and they pay at least $300 a month or more for their medical coverage compared to my cost of just over $200. I also took with me a basic $10,000 life insurance plan. Although I am under the old federal retirement plan the new plan is also very good. I figured had I been under the new plan I would be making getting a pension of about $60,000 but the TSP (gov 401K plan) would have given me a tidy sum at 5% match. Plus I could have collected social security which would have been at a reduced rate because as a Fed you can not collect both federal plans (thanks to President Regan) and the health care benefits still transfer with you in retirement under the new plan. You just can't beat working for the Federal Gov. My wife retired from a different department in the federal government and we live very comfortable and are still relatively young.


wildcard6 3 years ago

@retired&luvit

I'm dying to know how you managed to cash out over 18k in Annual Leave, since every year, I get a "use or lose notice" and my max carryover each year is limited to 240 hours. Also, your agency must have been completely inept if you were taking time off and not charging it to A/L. If you tried that in my agency, you most certainly WOULD be fired. As to the lunch comment, I personally know three people who got caught for taking an hour and a half lunch. All three got suspended for 30 days WITHOUT pay, EVEN THOUGH one of them was on pre-approved A/L!

And if you were making $113,00.00 a year, you were probably a GS-13, which is usually the first step in the managerial track (but not always). My boss is a GS-14 with 35 years and he makes $137,000. He overseas an area that encompasses all 6 New England States and is comprised of over 60 employees. So I'm wondering how you supposedly got away with all of this and basically got paid for doing nothing for your entire career?

I graduated law school in May of 2009. I transferred from the Postal Service to a new agency as a GS-9. I am scheduled to be promoted in August of this year to GS-12, Step 1, which pays $75,222 in my locality. I am currently working 7 open cases and if I am going to take more than 90 days to submit a case, I have to get approval from my supervisor IN WRITING.

I am earning 8 hours of A/L each pay period, but that's only because of 4 years in the Marines and 15 in the postal service and because I had no broken time between the P.O. and my new agency.

So I'm REALLY curious as to how you got away with defrauding the government for so many years. Each agency has an Office of Inspector General whose sole mission is to prevent the fraud, waste, and abuse that you have admitted to committing.


ProudFed 3 years ago

I have been reading posts and listening to reports about how federal employees make too much money, and frankly I am shocked, but not surprised Understand that I am thankful for my job and I do sympathize with those Americans that have been severally affected by the recent events that have weakened our economy. But I feel that I should defend myself, as well as the other federal employees.

I was taken a back when the President announced that there was going to be a freeze on federal raises for 2 years. My first reaction was frustration and anger. I am married and I have 2 small children, 4 and 2. I am the only source of income right now for my family, so I cannot afford to be cavalier when it comes to fiscal responsibility. I agree with the President about taking action and being fiscally responsible. We live in a free society and whether we like it or not sometimes sacrifices need to be made for the greater good. Therefore, I may not agree with this decision, but this economic state we are in is way bigger than just me.

Now lets talk about the wages. I have worked for the federal government for the past 13 years, and before that I was active duty Army. I began working for the government in 1999, when the big biotech boom hit the MD area. It seems that some of those who are complaining about the exorbitant salaries that we “FEDS” earn may have forgotten that in the late 90’s private sector jobs were offering salaries 2 and 3 times what we make working for the government. At that time there were numerous biotech companies in the area that were offering salaries 2 times what I started at with the government. These companies were offering full medical and dental, bonuses, company paid happy hours, stock options, company cars, etc. No one wanted to work for the government, specifically NIH, because they could make 2 and sometimes 3 times the amount that the government was offering, in the private sector. Now it seems that the individuals that passed on a government job and decided to take money over job security are pointing fingers and screaming foul. I know what some will say, government jobs are so hard to get, they are never hiring. Well they must be hiring because there are a lot of us out there that everyone seems to be complaining about.

I could have been one of those that choose the bigger salary, but I choose a job that I knew would have security. My Government job was not handed to me. I was hired because I was qualified and I had the education. I served my country and continued my education so I will not apologize for having a job with security and good benefits. I am sure that if those unfortunate Americans that are unemployed were offered a government job, they would not turn their nose up, and that goes for anyone whether they are unemployed or not.

I have a Master of Science and a Master in Business Administration from a very prestigious school and I could probably make maybe 3 times what I am making now so I am not sure what the basis is for the 52% of Americans that think government workers are overpaid, and I would like to know the jobs they are referring to when they say we make double what our private sector counterparts make.

People are angry, and they should be, but they are focusing it in the wrong direction. If they think that federal workers currently receive better benefits than the private sector (although, quite frankly, federal benefits have also declined the last 30 years, just not as drastically), they shouldn’t be advocating for FEDS to receive less–they should be asking themselves why doesn’t the private sector receive MORE, like they used to, and why do only senior VP’s and CEO’s receive the “Golden Parachute” as they say when they are fired for poor performance.

I think it is easy for individuals to point fingers and make assumptions when they don’t have all the information. Is there government waste, YES? Should federal employees be targeted as part of this waste, NO? Everyone knows the old saying, “the grass isn’t always greener”, well my fellow FEDS would agree it isn’t always champagne and caviar working for the government.

Also, for those that make statements that, “Your salary is paid by my taxes”, well I will let you in on a little secret, federal employees pay federal taxes just like everyone else, so we are paying our salaries too!!!!!!!!!!!

These are just my opinions and in now way are they meant to be that of all government employees.


Anyone Can 3 years ago

I am former military, former civilian worker, and current federal worker. Any citizen can apply and become a Federal Employee just as we did by searching and bidding for job positions. Search USAJOBS.com There's a starting place for you so if you don't like what Feds get, join the force. It won't be easy getting in, but it wasn't easy for most of us. Just keep trying and maybe you'll get accepted. Good luck to all...


Pat 3 years ago

Funding the government and its pensions combined with its no layoff policy can only be living on borrowed time, especially with wholesale outsourcing to other countries.

No one needs to be an actuary to understand the clash of culture that bad faith contracts, dictatorial powers, and captive taxpayers represent. American taxpayers enslaved to create such a system is the height of mismanagement in any company, government, small business, institution, or military. Building upon a house of cards is the highest of risk possible.


HR Manager 3 years ago

I have read most of the postings on this site and as a current federal employee and HR Manager I feel that I owe it to everyone to clear up some misconceptions as I see them. Hopefully with a brief overview of some of the inaccurate data being thrown around and your own knowledge of the federal workforce, each of us can come up with our own conclusion.

It is misleading to compare the average federal employee salary to the average private sector employee salary. Reason: The private sector accounts for ALL jobs (low skill positions as well as technical positions. Most jobs in the federal workforce do not include low skill positions. The majority fall into the administrative, technical or scientific arena which tend to pay more. In my opinion, comparing like positions would be more appropriate and will paint a better picture to include salary and benefits.

My second point is that employment with the federal government is a privelege and not a right. What I mean by that is most hires within the federal government are done through the competitive process. Meaning that you MUST possess the experience and/or educational background to do job. There is also some type of evaluation criteria that is used to see who the best person is for the job before they are referred to the manager for selection. This process helps to eliminate the likelihood of hiring individuals who do not possess the needed skills to do the job. Also, the hiring of relatives to work for you is prohibited but they can go through this same process and work for someone else provided they get past the initial screening by an independent HR office. Finally with this subject to ensure everything was fair throughout the process, employment records are audited about every three years to ensure compliance. Inappropriate recruitment by the HR office and selecting manager can result in demotion, financial penalty and/or jail because a federal law may have been broken. To my knowledge most private sector employers don't have this type of requirement.

Finally the issue regarding FERS and Social Security. FERS is a retirement system and DOES NOT take the place of Social Security. A federal employee's total retirement package consist of three components. FERS (retirement plan), Thrift Savings Plan (401k), and Social Security. When a federal employee retires and is under the FERS retirement plan, he/she will receive three separate checks, FERS retirement (0.8% of my highest three salaries which is usually your last three years working), 401k (bulk of my retirement and depends on how much I have contributed over the years and the stock market and Social Security (we get the same benefits statement that all americans get once a year projecting what our payment would be). In my opinion this benefit is similiar to most private sector employers who offer a modest retirement plan.

As stated earlier this is just a brief overview without going into all the details but we this country is in a financial crisis and yes we do have to all make sacrifices but don't blame the public servants who do the work of the people day after day. We don't make the political decisions, that is handled by the guys you vote for and put into office. I have served my country in uniform and the only thing that I did was hang up the uniform and put on civilian clothes but my purpose is the same. To serve and protect the American people.


wildcard6 3 years ago

@HR Manager

THANK YOU for jumping in and clearing up the misconceptions in a concise, clear manner.

I have seen some people write that we should all be paid like the non-union private sector, because they are the ones doing it the right way.

My question is, Why? Who says that they're doing it the right way? Why should we be paid lower to enable greater profits? Why should we be racing to the bottom in terms of wages and benefits?

I earned the job I have, along with its good points and its bad. I am proud of what I do and who I serve.

So I challenge those of you who think the non-union private sector is the right way of doing things to tell me honestly why we should be working the way you work for the wages you earn. Make me understand why we should all be overwoked and underpaid.


Soccer Girl 3 years ago

i think giving up YOUR OWN MONEY!!! 4 someone else is stupid! ( unless they really need it.) But STILL!!


hme 3 years ago

Been a fed worker for near 31 years and retiring shortly. I will, after 31 years get about 1/3 of my salary a month. I learned to live on this long ago so I could PLAN to retire. I'd never work for the feds again is given the opportunity and would discourage newbies from even trying. There is a CAP on overtime and the most ever anyone can get is 1-1/2 time but if you earn a certain amount it's straight time. Never pays to stay a long time, earn promotions and then help the feds more by staying overtime. With cuts to fed workers, the new ones coming in have no incentive to BE there. Fee basis is a way to get straight time but there are NO perks, no health care, no leave, nothing at all. Perhaps a good 2nd job for those who desire that. I admit there was a time when it was fairly nice working for the feds but we always did equal area salary comparisons and we were ALWAYS lower. The perks kept us moving, like health benefits and life insurance(which were NOT and ARE NOT free!!- we pay a bundle too!). But now, they want to cut so much for new and many of the existing fed employees it's not worth the concern. Also , the accountability for supervisors is NOT there. They do not, at least where I've worked, deal with problem employees. It's near impossible short of a murder to get rid of anyone. Many of US hate this. A guy was caught doing drugs, taken out of his job, placed in the library for 3 months(still with his pay) until they decided what to do with him. He's such a POOR worker with So many problems and yet his bosses wanted to keep him!! No one can figure out why!! Maybe he has trash on them! So...doing drugs despite a FEDERAL MANDATE/LAW/RULES...is allowed! I'm so so fed up. And to make matters worse, HE GETS PAID THE SAME! .

So, there are good things and bad things for working at a federal agency, they all have ups and all have downs. I know plenty of private agencies who have many more perks than the feds do, they've been singled out because of D.C. and Congress. THEY need to be more accountable and not "given" so much. Plenty of fed workers in other areas and smaller cities work for fed because of their "caring" of their job, they WANT to do well, no matter how many times they are ignored or disgraced. They really earn their pay and make many sacrifices. MY PAY? I know I earn every cent of it and feel no ill ease at any time. I know my taxes go to pay my and others salaries, so I don't mind. It's the slough offs I've had to work with over the years that bug me and why the supervisors never get rid of them.


I want the truth 2 years ago

there is no point because these comments hate to say won't change anything.Unfortunatly our politicians haven't got the guts to speak the truth about anything.I have no idea what html urls hyperlinked or hubs means and i don't care .you people need to explain things so other people understand you geeks.I want the truth.


Postal MailHandler 2 years ago

I have worked for the USPS for almost 25 years and my current salary, top step for my craft, is $52,016 annual. That comes to apx. $1000/wk, or $25/hr. Craft workers DO NOT make $30 to $40 per hour, and many of us work our tails off. Our time is monitored in HUNDREDTHS of hours, and we are required to clock OUT for the half-hour we take for lunch. When I started this job, I took a pay cut from the $10/hr I was earning on my private sector job. The vacation time was the same but the sick time was better (but God help you if you used it!). Retirement was probably similar since it included Social Security, and a pension, but I don't recall what the 401k provisions were. Since I was a hospital office worker, the health care was part of my pay package and I was extended courtesy through some doctors in the hospital. I have a relative in IRS, and I watch their contract negotiations give them 3 times what ours give us in raises for every contract. Postal workers have the same options for health insurance as other government workers, and it is true that postal workers pay a few dollars less per pay period. I was told that is because we make so much less than other government workers. My feeling on Health Care in general is that if the Government were interested in making health care affordable, they could negotiate an excellent package across the board for EVERYONE, since we are dealing with huge numbers of people. Congress could (and should) settle for the same package as we are offered; perhaps it would give them some incentive to make it decent. Right now, postal workers are not feeling like we have any job security to speak of, and we expect to be forced to take retirement as soon as we are eligible or be forced into a downgraded retirement plan (age discrimination). People have a warped idea of what the Postal Service costs. The Postal Service is a self-supporting government enterprise WHICH RECEIVES ZERO TAX DOLLARS FOR OPERATING EXPENSES. Why not ask what has happened for all of the years that the Postal Service operated at a substantial profit? Where did all that money go? ALSO, there are huge numbers of postal employees who make salaries well in excess of $40/hr who never handle mail. Why do we have over 60 Executive Vice Presidents in Charge of Various Redundant Operations, each with his own office, staff and budget? How essential are these people, and wouldn't we be better served to consolidate many of these highly paid people and operations and concentrate on the business of processing the mail? The Postal Service deals with the same percentages of lazy people and hard working people that any private industry does. Right now, the Postal Service is the ENRON of government enterprises.


Bobo2 2 years ago

Fed govt can be stable. There are a lot of upsides. The downsides seem to include:

- after 5 years your skills are totally out of date.

- continuing resolutions make it nearly impossible to plan anything.

- yes impossible deadlines and crazy bosses exist in govt. You just get the added benefit of incompetent law suit happy entitled coworkers to make matters worse.

-the cost of living and the housing options suck in the DC area.

-the commute sucks big-time

-coworkers calling in sick, long medical leave, lawsuits, grievances, reduction in force same expectations for service

-The most minor work can end up in the spotlight on CNN, or the newspaper...and not in a good way.

-the American public hates you and frequently bad mouthes your work.

It's still a great gig with the opportunity to do good stuff, serve the public, and decent stability (unless you're a white male or manager...then you're bound to get sued...and lose...)


rick 2 years ago

I am also a federal worker and I guarantee many of you do not want my job. I work for a government shipyard and spend my days crawling around in bilges and 120 degree void spaces doing electrical work.

Yes my benefits are better but as a federal employee I make much less than most private electricians and my job is much harder. I know it is because I have done residential and commercial electrical work also. When I do a side job in the private sector I make more than double my government salary and the rates I charge are a deal.

Almost everybody I work with will retire with permanent injuries due to our jobs. I personally have torn two rotator cuffs, dislocated my knee and have back issues. My father retired from the same place I work and his back is so bad he is unable to ride a motorcycle more than 20-30 minutes without his legs going numb. My grandfather also worked at the same place. He was able to retire at age 62 and spent all but two years of his retirement battling lung cancer he got from a career breathing smoke as a ship fitter. Unlike many iron working jobs on a ship the smoke has nowhere to go so it stays where you work all day.

I will be eligible to retire at 57 with a whopping pension of around $18,000 per year but I can't afford to. I do invest the max in my thrift savings but that is my money and those in the private sector can invest in IRAs etc. In reality most everyone I work with retire around age 65 unless the make it into management. Now I will admit the old retirement system prior to FERS was a great system but that has been gone for over 20 years.

I am required to travel and have spent over 100 days a year away from my family most of the years I have been there. As for all the holidays I get off just about everyone gets most of them also. How many private sector jobs make you work on Christmas, New Years Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day and Thanksgiving?

All this being said I do love my job and get great satisfaction when I hear that the rescue boat I repaired saved someone's life. Or the patrol boat I worked on intercepted a huge shipment of cocaine. However my job is not a gravy train. If you think it is go to USA JOBS and apply.


Ambassador 2 years ago

All I have to say is that I have yet to meet one competent employee that works for the Feds in any administrative position. They never even know their own procedures or willingly violate them (most likely the first but the occasional second). I am always having to show them the law and how they should be doing their jobs as described in the Code of Federal Regulations. Even then they still violate my rights! That being the case, I cringe at the thought of how much these people are getting paid when they don't even know what they are doing most of the time. Most of the time these people are nice and willing to help but that doesn't cut it when they fail to follow the law.


LOST 2 years ago

try!


buntline 2 years ago

Can you believe the dialogue from these pay and pension iron rice bowl types; hoover declared no mob because they went into the public employee pay scam business.

Every day a thousand pay and pension multi millionaire government types retire from the iron rice bowl - many on to double dip. Smiling assassins who know they are scammin ya and if they don't they are blinded by their incapabilities.


marxwj 2 years ago

First, Issues Veritas, you do know that Federal Employees do pay into social security and Medicare/Medicaid like every other American worker.

As to the issue of Federal workers "feeling the pain" of the nation. It is crap. We all have friends and family that are out of work or having problems of one sort or another. If Federal employment is so great, why do we have so many vacant positions? I work with a public works group for the Navy and we have over 100 vacancies in a variety of positions and this has been more or less static for the last 5 yrs that I know of. With all the people reaching retirement age in the near future, or already well past minimum retirement, I see this number going up, not down.

People seem to forget, when a business has financial trouble, the economy drops, whatever, they close a plant or a store and so on, and lay off workers. The Federal government can't do that. We can't reduce services, close offices, etc. We are required to get the same work done for Every American equally. That is over 300,000,0000 Americans we have to try to make happy every day for as long as this nation exists. Our jobs must be done, unless Congress and the President decide what we do is no longer needed.

This information on salaries is also misleading, since many Federal workers and not Federal Employees, they are contractors. The number of Federal Employees has not changed significantly since Eisenhower was President. At this time, noone can tell you how many Contractors and Contract Employees work for the Federal government and what they get paid. I know for one thing, most of them have much nicer offices than their Federal counterparts, and similar benefit packages. Many also have higher salaries. Thanks to a Republican government that wanted to make the Federal Government more efficient, in the 80's, they opened up many Federal offices to contractor competition. Contractors often low bid the work and they had massive layoffs of Federal workers. With no Federal competition, there is no reason for them to keep prices down. Even when the Federal workers win the competition, they were required to form a private business and leave Federal service. As a result, many Federal workers went from supervising workers to overseeing contracts, verifying work, negotiating more contracts, etc. My office used to design office buildings and other fairly large construction projects, now we review drawings and spec packages from contractors, because we don't have the workforce left to actually design things, and we don't have the computers needed to run AutoCad and other design software, so we review hard copies. We kill at tree or two every time we build even the simplest structure, just in paperwork. There are potentially as many contractors working for the Federal government at any time as there are Federal Employees.


Dodgeman6point1 2 years ago

As a federal employee myself, I have one comment to make about another comment concerning taxes. See, I have recently (and truthfully) admitted to myself that I pay no federal income tax - at least as far as overall contribution to the pot. We get paid from the pot, then we put some back in. How does that increase the quantity in the pot? If I have a community bucket that needs to be filled to provide a common source of water for say, watering a tomato plant from which everyone eats, my private sector friends bring cups of water from their springs and wells and pour some into the bucket, then drink the rest. The level rises with each addition. But I take my cupful out of the bucket, put a little back in it and then drink the rest. My addition back into the bucket did not increase its level beyond what was there when I took my cupful out - only my friends additions increase the amount in the bucket. In fact, I am consuming some of the tomato plant's water, so my private sector friends are burdened with more than just sustaining the plant since they have to overcome my consumption. Federal employees really do not pay federal income taxes. There's 2 ways of looking at it - (1) we only refund a portion of our salaries, or (2) we have lesser base salaries than stated on our LES.

And to the guy who thinks FERS is all that? Ha, you outta see what CSRS did for federal employees - now that was really something!


Postal Striker 2 years ago

I would love to actually see some of these posters attempt at working as a postal employee. From the sounds of their pathetic, argumentative rants, They wouldn't last a day.

RIGHT NOW... this very moment, postal employees are working double shifts and not allowed to go over 60 hour weeks. To put in simplistic terms... for some of these posters... To do an 80 hour work in 60.

Right now... I was personally told by management that they will hold ALL PAYCHECKS for investigation if anyone is over 60 hours of work. Merry Christmas!

I was just looking around to see if any of this was legal. But obviously, this site is for opinions only.


lostyankee 2 years ago

maybe I'm over simplifying here, but it seems to me that this 'discussion' between two groups of tax-paying American's are failing to see the true issue. The issue is not that Federal employees are over-compensated, or even under-compensated, and vise-versa. Sure there are many valid points above, for example, - Are there FED that are over-compensated for what they do (or get away with doing)? Sure, just as there are in the private sector. - Should those in the private-sector attempt to manage their lifestyle and finances accordingly to ensure their retirements? Of, course EVERYONE should be. I think the issue, concerning us ALL is really the political engine currently driving our nation (downhill), While I don't like the idea our Government extending its reach any further into our lives, I do believe it's time for a change. Time for the People to take back Our Nation. Time to run off the 'special interest' groups, the lobbyists, the professional politicians, the good-old-boys, and the remaining greedy pigs that are and have been shaping Our Nation to suit themselves, at the cost of the majority. Federal employees are not the issue here, frankly, they are the only reason we as citizens are taken care of. Without the majority of them we ALL would be suffering far worse than many of us are now. Does anyone here honestly believe even 10% of our nation's law-makers, representatives, etc TRULY have the citizens best interests at heart, every minute of every day they hold their seat and salary? Or could manage to assist you in resolving an issue, correctly, tactfully, (while the person they are helping is seething with contempt, guilty there myself). The answer is an emphatic NO. Rather than waste time trolling each other pointlessly, why not try and work together and put forth the effort to take America back?


Postal Striker 2 years ago

Blame Congress. Not the workers.


bang4dabuck 2 years ago

I'm working for the millionaires with their loopholes (and probably cheat on their taxes anyways) and the overpaid public servants who take their wages and benefits for granted. Even though I'm politically liberal and my whole family is/were feds there inevitably will be a wake up call that some of you will be there to see. I'm calling MARIE ANTOINETTE and I'm going to tell you where to stick that cake.


kathleen 2 years ago

I think since the federal employees salaries are exposed everybodies salaries should be exposed. That's fair.


Old Fed 2 years ago

I have been working for the Federal Government for last 23 years. My staring salary was $17,478. And my current salary after serving 23 years is $121,656.


Elvis 2 years ago

Councilmember Mike Martinez of Austin, Texas thinks government employees should make twice as much as $228,000. KICK HIM TO THE CURB, ELECT DR. LAURA PRESSLEY FOR PLACE 2 AUSTIN TEXAS GO TO THE POLLS THIS MONDAY AND VOTE FOR PRESSLEY. Fact: We pay a certain percentage through our tax dollars for these people. LET'S OCCUPY GOVERNMENT, BECAUSE WALL STREET IS NOT THE PROBLEM! Mr. Larry Weis CEO of Austin Energy makes $300,000 a year! needs to be cut down to $60,000 and they want to increase your electric bill so Mr. Weis and folks like him can live high on the hog. "I only want to grow Government" -Barack Marxist Leningrad Obama "Government is a corporation, I will pay them double!, and I don't care about the poor" -Mitt Romney


Julia 2 years ago

If it is important that taxpayers know where their money is going, why not have a list of people that receive food stamps, scholarships for their kids, medical assistance, housing assistance, etc.?

Salaries are private, and when I worked in private industry, we were told never to discuss our salaries. As consumers, we pay the salaries of all of the employees at the cable company, the phone company, the gas company, the stores, etc. When prices go up, it would be nice to see where that money is going. We also pay for the salaries of all private industry.

If I was not married, I would be worried about possible dates checking my salary, and dating me for that alone.

My daughter is away at college, and has no job. I pay her tuition, yet I am denied access to her financial information because it is "private". (She gives me full access, but she is given the choice to give me access.) Why is that private, when I pay for it? On top of all of this, I just found out that my salary was public information a few months ago. It has been public for years, and the co-workers that I talked to did not know this was public either.


Ron 2 years ago

That's a fantastic hub. Thank you so much.

Ron from Fitness http://www.intervalstraining.net


incissart 16 months ago

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