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Compensation and Benefits

As an Office of Naval Research (ONR) government civilian employee, you are entitled to base pay according to the federal government's general base pay scale and a rich array of benefits afforded to federal employees. ONR employees can earn annual cost of living increases and rates of pay according to the employees current position. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) lists federal salary tables and adjustments.

Health and Wellness

You can enroll yourself and any eligible family members in any one of more than 250 health plans and the government will contribute a substantial portion of the cost regardless of the plan selected. Eligible federal employees and family members can enroll in supplemental dental and vision insurance. You can choose from one of seven dental plans with competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations and six vision plans. More information on the federal employees dental and vision insurance program (FEDVIP) is available at OPM's site.

Through its employee assistance program (EAP), ONR also provides assistance to employees and their families with issues affecting work or home. You can find support for performance or conduct problems; conflicts with supervisors or co-workers; or for health, personal or family circumstances that can affect job performance or workplace behavior.

Life Insurance

As a federal employee you can select low-cost term life insurance coverage. Coverage is based on your annual salary, automatically increases as your salary increases, and includes payments for accidental death as well as loss of limbs and/or eyesight. Visit the OPM web site for a more comprehensive overview of the Federal Employee Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI).

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) helps employees defray the costs of assistance with the activities of daily living. It covers skilled, intermediate and custodial care in your home, an adult day care, an assisted living facility, nursing home or hospice facility. It also covers home care from informal providers such as family and friends.

Time Away From Work

Federal employees receive 10 paid holidays each year. In addition, all career employees earn annual leave to use for vacations, rest and relaxation, and personal business or emergencies at a rate based on their length of federal service. Employees earn 13 days of annual leave per year the first three years of employment, 20 days per year from three to 15 years of employment, and 26 days per year after 15 years. Under certain conditions, time in military service may be credited toward employees' length of service for annual leave calculations. Consult OPM for detailed information

Employees also earn 13 days of sick leave per year regardless of length of service. Sick leave accumulates from year to year, protecting employees from loss of salary due to extended illnesses. Sick leave can be used for personal medical needs, care of a family member and adoption related purposes.

Other types of leave programs include:

  • Family and Medical Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is legislation granting most federal employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to allow them to take care of family or medical needs. For an overview of the provisions of the Act, visit OPM for more details.
  • Leave Transfer Program: The ONR Federal Leave Transfer Program allows employees to donate annual leave to fellow employees who have used all of their own sick and annual leave due to extended illness and would otherwise be in a non-pay status.

Professional Development and Incentives

ONR provides access to world-class resources and support to help employees succeed. These resources will help employees make informed decisions to develop their careers.


Almost all new employees hired after Dec. 31, 1983, are automatically covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Certain other federal employees not covered by FERS also have the option to transfer into the plan. FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan comprised of Social Security benefits, the Basic Benefit Plan and the Thrift Savings Plan.

The Basic Benefit Plan provides a monthly annuity payment based on salary and length of service payable when age and service requirements are met.

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees. It provides employees with many of the same savings and tax benefits found in the private sector. The TSP provides supplemental retirement income and features including:

  • Tax deferral on contributions of up to 11 percent of earnings
  • Choice of five investment funds
  • A loan program
  • Portable benefits if you leave government service
  • A choice of withdrawal options
  • Automatic 1 percent agency match

Social Security

Most of the cost of Social Security is paid for through payroll deduction. Social Security provides monthly payments when you retire and have reached at least age 62. Social Security also provides monthly benefits if you become disabled, monthly benefits for your eligible survivors and a lump sum benefit to your survivors upon your death.