Expert's View

Reg Jones

OPM’s Federal Employee Benefits Survey gathered data from a sampling of current federal employees. Of particular interest is the importance surveyed employees gave to each program, the adequacy of the program, and the value they gave to it. The chart below reflects percentages of positive responses: respectively, those who deemed the benefit important or extremely important to them; that it meets their needs to a moderate or great extent; and that it is a good or excellent value.

Note: One program – retirement annuity – was considered to be important or extremely important by 95 percent of the respondents. However, it’s not included in the following chart because the respondents were in no position to determine if it would meet their needs or how valuable it would be when they retire.


Program Importance Meeting Needs Value
TSP 96% 93% 88%
FEHB  90% 96% 74%
FEDVIP Dental  82% 85% 66%
FEDVIP Vision  70% 87% 74%
FEGLI  70% 81% 68%
FLTCIP  42% 84% 67%

While the data they gathered covered several areas, it’s no surprise that OPM focused on the most widely used program in their repertoire apart from the retirement annuity: the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.

According to OPM, “The FEHB program is often considered a key element of the benefits package available to federal employees, and FEBS [Federal Employee Benefits Survey] data continue to support the critical role played by the program. For example, since the 2013 survey, the availability of FEHB has consistently been rated as ‘extremely important’ or ‘important’ by most FEBS employees, regardless of whether or not they were enrolled in the program.”

In addition, OPM wanted to know what impact these benefits might have on employee decisions to both take a job with the government and remain there. Seventy percent of those survey indicated that it was the availability of health benefits coverage that influenced their decision to go to work for the government. And 80 percent said that it influenced their decision to stay.

Next week. I’ll lay out the most important factors employees consider when selecting an FEHB plan.

A Look at Risk: Good Time to be a Federal Employee

FEHB Considerations for Those Who Have—or Are Eligible for—Other Health Coverage

Timing Federal Retirement to Boost Your Annuity FEHB and Medicare Coverage

2020 Federal Employees Handbook