NSA employees receive outstanding benefits that offer a better quality of life, both on the job and off.
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.Enable Accessibility Mode for a screen reader accessible version of the content
NSA observes 10 federal holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Presidents Day
- Memorial Day
- 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)
3-14 years: 6 hours per pay period (20 days per year)
15 years or more: 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 and dental 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.
There is no separate maternity leave. Sick leave, in combination with annual leave and leave without pay under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), may be used to cover the period of physical incapacitation, recuperation and adjustment connected with a pregnancy.
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.
Most NSA employees are eligible to enroll in one of several federal employee health plans. There are fee-for-service, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), consumer driven and high deductible health plans. Enrollment in a health plan is voluntary and is paid for by contributions from you and the federal government. Your biweekly share of the premium (pretax) depends on the plan you select. The government pays about 72 percent of the total premium.
The federal government offers several supplemental dental and vision plans. Your biweekly share of the premium (pretax) depends on the plan you select. The government does not contribute at all to the premium, so you pay 100 percent of the costs.
FSAs allow you to set aside money, on a pretax basis, for certain common expenses. With an FSA, you can reduce your taxes while paying for services you would ordinarily pay for out-of-pocket. The federal FSA Program offers two options:
- Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA)
- Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA)
An open season is held each year that coincides with the FEHB open season. During that time, employees have the opportunity to select HCFSA and/or DCFSA for the plan year, which begins Jan. 1 the following year.
Most NSA employees are eligible for life insurance coverage under FEGLI from the day they begin duty. The basic life coverage under FEGLI equals the actual rate of your annual basic pay (rounded to the next $1,000) plus $2,000. As an NSA employee, you pay two-thirds of the cost of basic life coverage and the government pays one-third. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage is included under basic life at no additional cost.
In addition to basic life insurance, you may also elect additional life insurance coverage options to fit your individual needs.
New employees may enroll in the LTC program with abbreviated underwriting.
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.
The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is the retirement plan for those entering federal service under a permanent appointment. FERS benefits are portable and allow employees to take an active role in securing their futures.
FERS is a three-tiered plan composed of the following components:
- Basic Benefit Plan – Establishes an annuity amount based on an employee's age, years of federal service as of the effective retirement date and average highest salary attained over a 3-year consecutive period. Disability benefits and benefits for survivors of federal employees and retirees are also provided.
- Social Security Benefit – Payments made from the Social Security Fund at retirement are based on an employee's age, type of benefit applied for and earnings history from social security-covered wages.
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan similar to 401(k) plans offered by private employers. Employees participating in the TSP can choose from several investment plans, including government securities, common stock funds, bond index funds, small capitalization stock and international stock funds.
Note: Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) may cover new employees who were hired prior to January 1, 1987, and have at least five years of federal civilian service.
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees. Employees covered by FERS and CSRS can contribute to TSP, although participation rules are different for FERS versus CSRS employees.
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.
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 a licensed child development center, state childcare listings and information on summer camps/programs.
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.
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.
A Motor Vehicle Administration mobile office visits NSA once a month to offer such services as: renewing a non-commercial driver's license, returning tags, obtaining disability placards, changing your name and/or address and registering to vote.
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.
If you are interested in finding a roommate, your welcome packet contains a form that you can fill out and return.
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.