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  • Federal benefits

    I've been looking through the forums trying to figure out as much as I can, but I still have questions. I'm considering leaving a city dept for the federal side but would like to know more about the benefits side. Such as, how many vacation days do you typically earn in a year, what percentage do you contribute to your pension, at what percent to you retire after your 20. Any information would be helpful. Thanks

  • #2
    Thanks for the info.

    And I'm 30.

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    • #3
      There are several Facebook DOD Fire-oriented groups that are very active.

      And in 25 years, this is the first time I have ever seen anyone want to leave a Municipal Fire Department for the Federal Fire Service. It's always the other way around.

      Dont do it!!!
      "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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      • #4
        The main reason for switching is I own a house down where I was stationed that won't sell. Been renting for 5 years now and it's getting old. The dod dept down there pays more and access to the base is great for hunting fishing purposes. I understand they work an extra day a week but gotta compromise some where.

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        • #5
          I do know you need arff to start at a gs5 position, which is why I want to figure out more about the benefit side before I go get that cert. on my own dime. As far as getting hired, yea I figure it's a long shot

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          • #6
            I have. Huge pay cut from where I'm at. DOD is a small cut with potential to succeed what I make.

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            • #7
              Ahhh you must be down south somewhere where the Feds pay more than Municipal FD's.....
              "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 0331grunt View Post
                I've been looking through the forums trying to figure out as much as I can, but I still have questions. I'm considering leaving a city dept for the federal side but would like to know more about the benefits side. Such as, how many vacation days do you typically earn in a year, what percentage do you contribute to your pension, at what percent to you retire after your 20. Any information would be helpful. Thanks
                I was a federal firefighter for 3 years, prior to that I was a military firefighter for 7. I switched over to a city department.. I will answer what I remember, the information will be just estimates and will pertain to the Air Force side of things. I am not sure how close that would be to other branches, but they are all FERS positions and utilize the same pay scale, so they might be close.


                Vacation: Around 7 or so hours of sick leave and 11 hours of annual leave were accrued per pay period ( I am not sure if the annual amount earned goes up with service time or not, but it prob does)

                I am not sure what the percentage was per pay period we payed into FERS, but it was a nice chunk of change.. possibly 400 a check? I don't remember exactly, but it was up there. I was making around $62k at that time.

                The link posted above shows how to calculate retirement. To answer your question though, after 20 years, you would retire with 34% of your high three salary. That is just the FERS component, it sucks. You will also have two more tiers, or source of income; TSP and Social Security. TSP is like a 401k that they match up to 5 percent. So if you put in 5 percent of your check, they will also put in 5 for a total of 10 percent. Social security is self explanatory, you pay into it during your career and then they give you money when you are a certain age. Since federal FF retire before they are eligible for SS, FERS supplements a certain amount until SS kicks in.

                Again, this is general information and not exact. I have been gone from federal service for 4 years now, so it is not fresh in my head anymore.

                Post any other questions that you may have... or PM me.

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