BENEFITS

NSA employees receive outstanding benefits that offer a better quality of life, both on the job and off.

For a comprehensive list and details on all of the benefits we offer our employees, download the benefits guide.

Paid Time Off

Life is too short to spend it all at work. We help you make the most of it by providing you with generous leave programs.

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NSA observes 11 federal holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

New or additional federal holidays can be established only by federal statute or by executive order of the president of the United States.

Annual leave is an authorized absence with pay from a regularly scheduled workday. Annual leave may be used for vacations, personal, or emergency purposes. For full-time employees, annual leave is accrued at the following rates:

Less than 3 years: 4 hours per pay period (13 days per year)

3-15 years: 6 hours per pay period (20 days per year)

15+ years: 8 hours per pay period (26 days per year)

Part-time employees also earn annual leave. The leave accrual is pro-rated based on the number of base pay hours the employee works during the standard 80-hour pay period.

In most cases, up to 30 days (240 hours) of annual leave may be accrued and carried over to the next year.

Full-time employees accrue four hours of sick leave each pay period, regardless of length of service. Part-time employees accrue one hour of sick leave for each 20 hours worked, regardless of length of service. There is no limit on the amount of sick leave that may be accrued. Sick leave can be used for the following reasons:

  • Personal illness
  • Medical, optical, dental and mental health appointments
  • Care of a family member who is ill or for his/her doctor's appointments
  • Bereavement purposes
  • Adoption of a child

Court leave is an authorized absence for employees called by a federal, state or municipal court as a juror or as a witness in a case where a government entity is a party. Personal leave will not be charged, and there will be no loss of pay in such a circumstance. The employee must present the summons or subpoena before the leave is granted and a certificate of attendance afterward.

Employees who are eligible for Family and Medical Leave (FML), invoke FMLA coverage, and welcome a new child into their lives through childbirth, adoption, or foster care have access to a new paid leave benefit to bond with and care for a child. The benefit provides up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave (PPL) to eligible employees.

Full-time and part-time employees are eligible for PPL if:

  • They invoke FML;
  • The birth or placement of a child occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2020; and
  • They certify, in writing, that they will work for the agency for at least 12 weeks after PPL concludes

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 administrative workweeks of leave without pay (LWOP) during any 12-month period. FMLA leave may be charged only on days that are scheduled workdays.

FMLA may be used for the following reasons:

  • Birth of a child and care of newborn (within one year after birth)
  • A child is placed with the employee for adoption or foster care (within one year after placement)
  • Care for a spouse, son, daughter or parent with a serious health condition
  • Serious health condition of an employee that makes the employee unable to perform assigned duties

A comprehensive program designed to provide employees with paid annual leave when employee absence is due to a personal or family medical emergency or condition, and the absence causes financial hardship due to the unavailability of paid leave. There are two programs that operate independently:

  • The Leave Bank Program – Leave Bank open season is normally held during the month of November each year for new enrollments. Bank membership requires an annual enrollment fee of four, six, or eight hours of leave (determined by years of service), which is automatically deducted during the first full pay period of every new leave year. New employees have up to 60 days from date of employment to apply.
  • The Leave Transfer Program – This program is for agency employees who are not members of the leave bank and are in need of leave assistance due to a personal or family medical emergency or condition, or for members who have already exhausted their leave bank hours and are still in need of leave. The Leave Transfer Program is based solely on donations, and the hours are not guaranteed.

Health & Life Insurance

NSA offers several insurance options, with costs split between the employee and the federal government. We want to make sure that you and your family are well cared for – now and in the future.

FEHB is a program offering comprehensive health insurance coverage for you, your spouse and your children under the age of 26. Most employees are eligible to enroll in FEHB within 60 days of EOD. There are nationwide fee-for-service, health maintenance organizations, consumer-driven, and high deductible plans. Enrollment in a plan is voluntary and paid for by contributions from you and the federal government. Your pre-tax biweekly share of the premium depends on the plan you select, but the federal government’s share of the premium is approximately 72% of the total premium. Coverage is effective the first day of the following pay period after you enroll. If you do not enroll within the 60-day window, you will have to wait until either the annual “open season” (occurring in November/December timeframe) or within 60 days of a qualifying life event (QLE) (loss of coverage, marriage, divorce, birth, etc.). Open season elections become effective in the first full pay period in January. For more information, please visit the OPM website at www.opm.gov/health.

FEDVIP is a supplemental form of insurance offering dental and/or vision insurance to you, your spouse and your unmarried dependent children under the age of 22. Most employees are eligible to enroll in one of several federal dental and/or vision plans within 60 days of EOD. The federal government does not contribute to dental or vision premiums; therefore, you will pay 100% of the costs. There are various dental and/or vision plans to pick from. Your biweekly share of the dental premium (pre-tax) is determined by the plan you select as well as your zip code. Vision premiums (also pre-tax) are determined solely by the plan you select (in other words, your zip code is not a factor). If you do not enroll in either insurance within the 60-day window, you will have to wait to enroll until either the annual open season or within 60 days of a QLE (loss of coverage, marriage, etc.). Open season is held annually in the November/December timeframe with coverage becoming effective on Jan. 1. Without a QLE, you may only cancel your dental and/or vision coverage during the annual open season. Enrollment is not conducted at the agency; therefore: for more information, or to enroll, please visit www.benefeds.com.

FSA is a benefit that allows enrollees to set aside pre-tax money for their healthcare expenses with a health care or limited expense health care FSA or for their dependent and/or eldercare expenses through a dependent care FSA (in other words, an account that helps you pay for items that typically are not covered by your FEHB, FEDVIP, or other health insurance plans). Most employees are eligible to enroll in the FSA program within 60 days of EOD. If you do not enroll within the 60-day window, you will have to wait to enroll until either the annual open season or within 60 days of a QLE. Open season is held in the November/December timeframe with coverage becoming effective on Jan. 1. Enrollment is not conducted at the agency; therefore, for more information or to enroll, please visit www.fsafeds.com.

FEGLI is term life insurance with an option for coverage of your spouse and/or your unmarried dependent children under the age of 22. Your initial FEGLI coverage will depend on whether you are a newly appointed federal civilian (no prior federal civilian work experience) or a reappointed federal civilian (with prior federal civilian service). For additional information, please visit www.opm.gov/insure.

  • Newly appointed: you will be automatically enrolled in the “Basic” FEGLI option upon hire; equivalent to your annual base pay (including locality) rounded up to the next $1,000, plus $2,000. You will pay two-thirds of the cost of Basic FEGLI coverage while the government pays one-third. You may increase your coverage or elect family coverage within 60 days of EOD. After the 60-day window ends, you may only increase coverage with a QLE or through the Request for Insurance process. This process involves a physical examination completed at your expense; the results of which are used by the Office of FEGLI to determine your enrollment eligibility. If you decide you wish to decrease or waive your Basic coverage altogether, you may do so at any time throughout your employment (no QLE needed).
  • Reappointed: the type of FEGLI coverage you will be hired with depends on how long it has been since your last federal civilian appointment. If it has been fewer than 180 days since your last federal civilian appointment, you will EOD with the same coverage you had previously but may only increase the coverage with a QLE; however, you may decrease or cancel your coverage at any time. If your previous coverage had been waived, that waiver of coverage remains in effect until you experience a QLE. If it has been more than 180 days, you will still EOD with the same coverage you had previously but may only increase this coverage within 60 days of EOD or with a QLE. If you had previously waived coverage, you will automatically be enrolled in the Basic option upon hire with the ability to increase your coverage with a QLE or decrease or cancel your coverage at any time.

FLTCIP provides long-term care insurance to help pay for costs of care if/when the enrollees can no longer perform everyday tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing, etc. due to chronic illness, injury, disability or aging, or have a severe cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer’s disease) and need supervision at either home, in a nursing home, or at another long-term care facility. Current spouses, parents, parents-in-law, stepparents, adult children (adopted and stepchildren at least 18 years old), and domestic partners all of living eligible employees are eligible to enroll in FLTCIP. Most employees are eligible to enroll in the FLTCIP program within 60 days of EOD (with abbreviated underwriting). After the 60-day window ends, you may still apply but you will be subject to the full underwriting. Enrollment is not conducted at the agency; therefore, for more information or to enroll, please visit www.ltcfeds.com.

Federal Retirement Plans

While one day you will finish serving NSA, we will continue to provide for you and your family. Our retirement plans help you ensure your financial security.

There are currently three forms of the FERS retirement plans: FERS, FERS-RAE, and FERS-FRAE. The FERS retirement plan you will contribute to is not a matter of choice; it is derived from federal law, non-negotiable, and is automatically withheld from your biweekly Leave and Earnings Statement (in other words, you cannot opt-out). FERS employees contribute 0.80% to their retirement system; FERS-RAE employees contribute 3.10%; and FERS-FRAE employees contribute 4.4%. All FERS employees, regardless of form, must also contribute 1.45% to Medicare and 6.20% to Social Security.

FERS FERS-RAE FERS-FRAE
First time hire on/after 01/01/1984 Hired between 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013 Hired on/after 01/01/2014
Benefit Contribution Benefit Contribution Benefit Contribution
Basic Benefit0.80% Basic Benefit3.10% Basic Benefit4.40%
Medicare1.45% Medicare1.45% Medicare1.45%
Social Security6.20% Social Security6.20% Social Security6.20%
Total8.45% Total10.75% Total12.05%

The TSP is similar to 401(k) plans offered to private sector employees; contributions may be made via pre-tax (traditional) or post-tax (Roth) contributions, or a combination of both up to the IRS Elective Deferral Limit which is subject to change each tax year. While contributing to TSP is ultimately optional, participation is strongly encouraged, which is why you will be automatically enrolled to contribute 5% pre-tax into a Lifecycle (L) fund upon EOD. After EOD, you will have the ability to increase, decrease, or redistribute your contributions across different fund(s) as well as elect post-tax contributions at any time throughout your agency employment. NSA provides matching TSP contributions up to 5% (dollar for dollar for the first 3% and 50 cents on the dollar for 4% and 5%). As a FERS employee, you also receive an automatic 1% from the agency whether or not you contribute to TSP (3% + 0.5% + 0.5% + 1% = 5%).

You may elect to contribute any dollar amount or percentage (1 to 100) of your basic biweekly pay. However, your annual dollar total cannot exceed the Internal Revenue Code's annual elective deferral limit for the current tax year.

FERS employees receive an automatic 1 percent contribution starting immediately after entering duty. The government matches employee contributions dollar for dollar on the first 3 percent and 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2 percent.

TSP now accepts rollovers from other 401(k)/qualified retirement plans.

Work-Life Balance

NSA offers an array of award-winning programs and services that help you strike the perfect balance between work time and personal time.

A flexible work schedule is offered to NSA employees as an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5 workday. It allows you to vary your arrival and/or departure time to fit with your busy life outside of work.

NSA offers information to assist, engage, enlighten and inform employees on issues involving children and youth. Some of these resources include childcare listings, discounts for childcare and information on summer camps/programs.

NSA’s Parenting Program supports parents from pregnancy through preparing their child for college and beyond. The program offers speakers and workshops, and it assists in connecting agency employees with similar life situations.

In existence since the 1980s, the Nursing Mothers Program offers close to 60 rooms at its NSA headquarters alone for mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies and maintain the ability to pump at work in a private, comfortable location. Most rooms are equipped with hospital grade pumps, microwaves, refrigerators and space for personal items. NSA has received many awards for lactation support and accommodations.

NSA’s Adult/Eldercare Program assists employees who are caring for a loved one, whether it’s an elderly parent, adult child, sibling, spouse or family friend. The program is designed to allow employees to build connections with those going through similar situations, raise awareness of caregiving issues, promote overall well-being and achieve positive work-life balance. Some of the resources available include a bi-weekly support group, one-on-one consultations, a lending library of books on eldercare/caregiving and referrals for internal and external assistance.

Several staffed fitness centers can be found throughout NSA complexes. These centers provide employees the opportunity to receive instruction from certified health, fitness and wellness professionals.

This program provides employees with up to three hours of paid time off per week to use for exercise, working out or other fitness activities.

The Connectedness Program hosts opportunities for NSA employees to connect with each other on a personal level inside and outside the workplace. This program oversees the agency’s clubs, which are sanctioned to operate on agency property. The clubs cover a wide range of interests from gaming to yachting.

The Financial Coaching Center offers free confidential financial coaching to NSA employees. One-on-one sessions cover topics such as creating financial goals, establishing a spending and savings plan, building a debt elimination strategy, understanding retirement benefits, repairing credit and more. Additionally, employees can also attend seminars and events on topics such as investing, buying a home, income tax basics and more through the National Cryptologic School.

The CWF provides many programs and services to agency employees and their families. It is one of the finest morale, welfare, and recreation establishments in the federal government.

Banking opportunities are available in several locations throughout NSA complexes.

Telework enhances operational efficiency, promotes program goals, enriches the quality of work and life, and provides for a better balance of work and personal responsibilities. NSA offers opportunities to telework on a short-term, long-term or ad hoc basis contingent with supervisory approval.

A Work-Life hotline has been established to provide employees and their families with needed information and resources.

NSA offers our employees the opportunity to manage important events in their lives while continuing to meet the demands of their career. WorkLife4You is a resource and referral program that provides around-the-clock assistance by trained specialists who help you meet your specific needs. By calling the toll-free number, we save you time and give you peace of mind. If you prefer to search on your own, there are more than 60,000 pages of information on topics such as family, health and wellness, education, finance/legal and daily living.

New Hire Programs

As a new employee with NSA, you will receive a welcome packet that includes all the information you will need, including details about the following programs.

NSA will pay to move household goods (not to exceed 18,000 pounds), as well as the travel expenses for new employees and their dependents whose primary residence is at least 50 miles from Fort Meade, Md. If the new employee prefers to use a commercial mover, NSA will reimburse up to the cost of the government rate.

In addition to financial assistance, we also have a First Duty Relocation Officer who will assist you with your move and answer any questions.

NSA’s Sponsorship Program pairs new employees relocating to the Baltimore/Washington metro area with current employees who have similar interests and/or family situations. Sponsors can assist with networking and in providing information about the community.

The Director and Deputy Director of NSA sponsor a Director's Social approximately twice a year for newly hired employees and their partners. This social provides new employees an opportunity to meet and talk with senior management and other recently hired NSA employees.