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Benefits & Pay

Compensation

Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System

Starting October 1, 2008, NGA began using a new intelligence community-wide personnel system. The concept underlying the DCIPS process is that an employee's total resulting pay should fairly reflect that person's performance at his or her Band level. The combination of salary and bonus decisions result in a compensation package that effectively rewards each employee for his or her efforts during the previous performance cycle. Promotion decisions reflect the employee's performance-based potential and the need for higher level work within the Agency. The combination of the three decisions results in a total pay that is appropriate to the employee's past efforts and future expectations. 

Salary/Pay Bands

NGA has implemented pay banding for all former General Schedule employees. The NGA system consists of five pay bands and does not include regularly scheduled within-grade increases. Annual performance evaluations determine the amount of increase within a pay band an employee will receive. The annual promotion process determines those employees who move to a higher band. The table below shows basic salary ranges and equivalent GS grade levels as of January 5, 2020.

Base Salary Range

Pay Band Minimum Maximum* GS Equivalent
1 $19,543 $50,974 01 - 07
2 $37,301 $68,671 07 - 10
3 $55,204 $107,534 11 - 13
4 $78,681 $127,066 13 - 14
5 $109,366 $149,472 15

Locality Pay

The Federal government has established numerous pay localities to provide locality pay adjustments that add to total pay according to geographic duty locations. The following table shows the locality pay for the Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, MO. areas which are the two primary locations for NGA.

Salary Range with Local Market Supplement

  Washington, DC Area St. Louis, Metro Area
Pay Band Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
1 $25,500 $66,511 $22,992 $59,971
2 $48,670 $89,602 $43,885 $80,791
3 $72,030 $140,301 $64,948 $126,514
4 $102,663 $165,796 $92,568 $149,493
5 $142,701 $170,800 $128,669 $170,800

Defense Intelligence Senior Level (DISL) Annual Rates

Minimum Maximum
$131,240 $181,500

Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service (DISES) Annual Rates

Tiers Minimum Maximum
Tier 1 $131,240 $181,500
Tier 2 $131,240 $190,000
Tier 3 $131,250 $197,300

Although the provisionally certified executive pay system increases the top salary limit to Executive Level II of $181,500, there are significant limitations on the number of executives who can attain salary levels beyond the Executive Level III limit of $167,000. Only those executives with the highest levels of responsibility, work accomplishment, and impact can progress beyond the Executive Level III limit.

DISL/DISES/SIS members are excluded from earning hazard pay differential and premium pay (overtime; compensatory time; Sunday or holiday pay; and night, standby, and irregular differentials).

Additional Compensation

Awards: NGA has an incentive awards program that is intended to encourage high productivity by acknowledging superior performance. The recognition may be by means of cash awards, salary increases for performance, or time off from work.

Bonuses: NGA has an incentive bonus program that is intended to encourage high productivity by acknowledging superior performance.

Promotions: NGA encourages the development of a highly skilled and motivated workforce within a broad-pay band, person-based system. The promotion process is used to select the best-qualified individuals for advancement through a fair, equitable, and competitive selection process. NGA selects employees for promotion based on their demonstrated skills, levels of performance, performance-based potential and higher level work required by the NGA mission.

Health and Life Insurance

There are many benefits available to federal employees for taking care your health and well-being. NGA employees also benefit from other supplemental insurance options available to the Intelligence Community.

The Office of Personnel Management website is the best resource for detailed insurance information available to federal employees.

Health Insurance

The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program offers a wide variety of plans and coverage to help you meet your health care needs. The government pays approximately 72-75% of the total premium for any plan and employees pay the remainder. Benefits are available as soon as coverage becomes effective. There are no pre-existing condition limitations even if an employee changes plans during eligible enrollment periods. Employees can choose between Self Only or Self and Family coverage from a variety of plans and options. Each year employees can enroll or change health plan enrollment during “Open Season.”

Life Insurance

Federal employees are given an opportunity to select low-cost life insurance coverage for themselves and eligible members of their families. This coverage will be based on their annual salary and will include payments for loss of limbs and/or eyesight in addition to accidental death.

Long-Term Care

Long-Term Care Insurance is designed to cover services you need when you are unable to perform certain activities of daily living or need care due to a severe cognitive impairment. Active employees and their current spouses may contact LTC Partners for an application. Same-sex domestic partners are also now eligible as a qualified relative to apply for coverage. Eligible individuals must prove they meet the definition of “domestic partnership.” For further information, access their website site at www.LTCFEDS.com.

Flexible Spending Accounts

The Flexible Spending Account Program is a benefit that can help you save money. It offers accounts where you contribute money from your salary before taxes and get reimbursed for eligible expenses. Two Flexible Spending Accounts are offered to eligible employees.

  • Health Care FSA: Allows employees to be reimbursed for health care expenses that are not covered by insurance, such as co-payments for doctor visits and prescription drugs.
  • Dependent Care FSA: Allows employees to be reimbursed for dependent care expenses, such as daycare, that are necessary to permit an employee and his/her spouse (if married) to work, look for work or attend school full-time.

Paid Time Off

NGA offers employees great leave benefits, including paid federal holidays, annual leave, and sick leave.

Holidays

Federal employees receive 10 paid holidays per year: New Year's Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information, visit the OPM website.

Annual Leave

All career employees earn vacation or "annual leave. The amount earned varies with the length of Federal service. Employees earn 13 days of annual leave each year the first three year of employment, 20 days per year for three to 15 years of service, and 26 days per year after 15 years. Under certain conditions, time spent in the military service is creditable towards leave earning rates for annual leave.

Sick Leave

Regardless of the length of service employees earn 13 days of sick leave each year. Sick leave not used accumulates year after year and protects employees from loss of salary due to an extended illness.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

This legislation grants to most federal employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period, to allow them to take care of family and medical needs.

Family-Friendly Federal Leave Policies

Legislation has provided Federal employees permission to:

  1. Use sick leave for purposes related to the adoption of a child.
  2. Up to 7 days of paid leave (in addition to sick or annual leave) to serve as bone marrow or organ donor.
  3. Excused absence to attend the funeral service of a fellow employee killed in the line of duty.
  4. Use sick leave when caring for family members or when arranging for/attending funeral services for a family member.

For more information visit OPM's Family-Friendly Leave Policies page.

Benefits Information and Programs

  • Leave Transfer Program: This program allows employees who experience a medical emergency or a medical emergency of a family member to receive annual leave donations from fellow coworkers. Employees approved for this program must exhaust their own annual and sick leave during the emergency and provide supporting medical documentation to qualify for leave donations.
  • Leave Bank: This program allows employees who experience a medical emergency or a medical emergency of a family member to request leave from the Leave Bank. Employees must become members of the Leave Bank to be eligible for assistance from this program. Employees must exhaust their own annual and sick leave during the emergency and provide supporting medical documentation to qualify for leave bank hours.

Retirement Benefits

NGA offers retirement plans that will help to ensure financial security for you and your family long after you finish your career with the agency.

Almost all new employees will be covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Certain other Federal employees not covered by FERS have the option to transfer into the plan. For complete information on the FERS, please see the Office of Personnel Management website.

FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan:

  1. Social Security Benefits
  2. Basic Benefit Plan
  3. Thrift Savings Plan

Social Security Benefits

The first available part of the retirement benefit is Social Security. It provides monthly payments if you are retired and have reached at least age 62, monthly benefits if you become disabled, monthly benefits for your eligible survivors, and a lump sum benefit upon your death.

Basic Benefit Plan

The basic benefit portion is financed by a very small contribution from the employee and from the Government. Basic plan benefits are a monthly payment depending on the employee's pay and length of service. As in most retirement plans, a formula is used to compute the payments under the Basic Benefit Plan. The government averages the highest 3 consecutive years of basic pay. This "high-3" average pay, together with the employee’s length of service is used in the benefit formula. Employees who meet the criteria also receive a "Special Retirement Supplement" which is paid as a monthly benefit until the employee reaches age 62. This supplement approximates the Social Security benefit earned by the employee while they were employed by the Federal government.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a voluntary retirement savings and investment plan for FERS and CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System) employees. The purpose of the TSP is to provide retirement income. A major advantage of the TSP is that you pay no taxes on contributions or earnings until you withdraw your account.

If you are covered by FERS, you can contribute your own money as soon as you are hired. You can also start or change your contributions any time up to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) annual limit. As soon as you are eligible for agency contributions, NGA will automatically contribute an amount equal to 1% of your basic pay each pay period, whether you contribute or not. If you are contributing, NGA will match your contributions dollar-for-dollar on the first 3% you contribute each pay period, and 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2% you contribute.

If you are covered by CSRS, you can contribute a percentage of your basic pay each pay period, up to the IRS annual limit. You do not receive any agency contributions.

Effective August 2010, all new hires to Federal service will be automatically enrolled in TSP at a rate of 3% of the employee’s basic salary including locality. Employees will have the option to waive the automatic enrollment. All employees covered by FERS and CSRS may make a TSP contribution election or elect to increase or decrease their current contributions any time. You may allocate your TSP holding to any of the available funds. Please visit www.tsp.gov for more information.

Training and Education Opportunities

NGA is committed to improving workforce performance related to the mission and strategic objectives of NGA, utilizing a systematic approach to assessing, planning, delivering and evaluation of training. This includes formal and informal training, education, developmental, and other learning assignments. NGA also offers extensive training in foreign language skills.

Tuition Assistance Program

The Tuition Assistance Program provides educational opportunities to develop critical skills and knowledge that contribute to the Agency's mission and performance goals. TAP pays 100 percent of tuition costs at accredited colleges or universities for approved mission related courses. The program also funds textbooks, library, laboratory, and computer usage fees for approved courses of study. The program is open to all NGA civilian employees.

Alternate Work Schedules

Many NGA organizations permit some or all employees to work schedules which vary from the eight hours a day, 80-hours a pay period standard. One of the approaches is the use of compressed schedules, which allow employees to work their 80 regular hours in fewer than the 10 working days of a "normal" pay period. Often, alternative arrangements assist individuals in caring for children or other dependents. For some, work schedule flexibilities means extra "personal time" to pursue educational or other developmental activities, or is helpful in reducing work related stress.

Work/Life Balance

NGA offers many programs that will help you strike the perfect balance between work time and personal time.

Employee Assistance Program

Today’s employees face a growing array of personal issues or problems that can interfere, not only with quality of life but also with job performance. The EAP is a professional resource available to help our employees resolve life’s challenges either large or small. On-site licensed EAP counselors are available for a personal meeting at NGA’s Springfield, Virginia, St. Louis, Missouri, and, Arnold, Missouri facilities. Additionally, all NGA employees may call the Federal Occupation Health (FOH) Call Center at the designated 1-800 number for CONUS or OCONUS locations and be referred to an affiliated licensed EAP counselor in the community. EAP services are available to employees and their immediate household members and are at no cost to the employee.

WorkLife4You

Because NGA understands that trying to manage daily responsibilities and life events can be challenging, the agency has established a partnership with Federal Occupational Health to offer a comprehensive resource and referral service, at no cost to the employee. WorkLife4You can be accessed 24/7 either on the WorkLife4You website or by calling trained specialists who can answer questions and quickly provide customized information on a wide variety of resources and services on subjects such as having a baby, going to college, finances, legal issues, health information, elder care, relocation services and much more.

Telework

Telework is an alternative work arrangement for employees to conduct some or all of their work at an alternative worksite away from the typically used office. NGA recognizes telework as an excellent tool for accommodating some employees with disabilities or as an alternative arrangement for work life balance. Telework may occur on a routine or regular basis, away from the principal place of duty, one or more days per pay period. Telework agreements are at management’s discretion and with the determination that a position is suitable for telework and the employee has demonstrated work habits conducive to telework.

Intelligence Community Emergency Assistance Fund

The IC EAF is a sub fund specifically for the intelligence community under the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA). The FEEA and the IC EAF provide emergency financial assistance in the form of tax-free grants and/or no-interest loans to eligible Federal employees who suffer injury or loss of life or damage to property as a result of a personal crisis, emergency or natural disaster. NGA employees may voluntarily contribute to the IC EAF via the Combined Federal Campaign or request assistance when needed.

Childcare Priority Placement Enrollment Program

One of the intelligence community priorities is to assist its employees to balance work and family responsibilities. One of the pressing challenges many of our NGA families face is identifying quality childcare alternatives. Because of this, NGA employees are offered the opportunity to participate in the Childcare Priority Placement Enrollment Program whereby IC employees are afforded the opportunity to have priority placement at KinderCare Learning Centers when space becomes available. Interested employees are encouraged to contact the Benefits and WorkLife Group Point of Contact.

Financial Literacy

NGA has a keen interest in helping its employees meet their personal and financial goals and offers a variety of financial planning seminars, information fairs and other money management tools throughout the year. NGA’s financial literacy program goal is to provide employees with the right knowledge to ensure they have a well-designed financial plan so they can afford today’s needs yet still fund tomorrow’s goals.

Physical Fitness/Health Services

NGA encourages employees to maintain their physical well-being in a number of ways. For example, fitness centers are located on-site at a number of NGA facilities.

Advantage Fitness Program

AFP is a wellness initiative that allows NGA civilian government employees to exercise at their duty location up to three hours per week as excused absence from duty time - without utilizing their personal leave. The AFP is designed to allow employees the flexibility they need in order to make physical fitness a part of their life. A regular exercise program keeps you mentally alert and physically fit, improves health, and enhances the quality of your work life and personal life.

Wellness Program

The NGA Wellness Program provides quality, comprehensive fitness and wellness services by promoting the awareness of positive behavioral and life-style changes to improve employees' health and well-being. The services provided are based on the needs of the Agency, and use standards set by the American College of Sports Medicine, the U.S. Public Health Service and the Office of Personnel Management. The NGA Wellness Program offers information on various health, wellness, and fitness topics through lectures, seminars, classes, and publications including physicals, flu vaccinations and cholesterol screening.

Workers' Compensation Program

NGA employees who are injured while in the performance of duty are covered under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). This program allows compensation benefits which include monetary payment for wage loss due to employment-related disability, payment of related medical bills, prescription reimbursement and vocational rehabilitation services when appropriate.

The goals of the Workers’ Compensation Program are to ensure that employees with job-related injuries or illnesses are provided timely medical care and appropriate compensation.

Nursing Mothers Program

NGA believes in allowing mothers who choose to breastfeed their baby the opportunity to achieve this goal. At NGA facilities, working mothers can continue to breast-feed their children because NGA provides comfortable, private lactation rooms, equipped with refrigerators for milk storage.