Also see the Employees Retirement System of Texas web site


Benefits

According to the State Auditor’s Office, with an average base salary of $36,182, a state employee’s benefits package totals $17,920, making for an annual compensation of more than $54,000 for the average state worker. The average Texas state employee’s annual salary is $36,182, but that is just the start of our compensation package. The total compensation for that level of salary breaks down as follows:

36,182 Base pay (average state employee)
5,829 Paid time off (holidays, sick leave, vacation leave)
5,323 Insurance benefits
3,049 Pay for legally required benefits (Social Security, Medicare taxes, workers’ compensation)
2,334 Retirement contributions
1,385 Supplemental pay (Benefit replacement pay, longevity pay)
$54,103 TOTAL COMPENSATION

(Source: “Expenditures for Salary and Benefits for State Employees in Fiscal Year 2007,” Texas State Auditor’s Office, January 2008).

Texas state workers have received pay raises in all but 12 of the past 40 fiscal years since 1970.

An article in USA Today states that government jobs are among those that are most immune to the effects of a recession. The article says government jobs may be only slightly affected by an economic downturn, even with tax revenues decreasing. It goes on to say there always will be a need for certain jobs related to services provided by the government.

Health Insurance

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who work at least 20 hours per week are eligible to select health coverage through HealthSelect or a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), if one is available in their geographic area.
What do you get? A health plan that provides payment (depending on the coverage you select) for costs incurred for medical services.
Who pays? The state pays a certain amount, depending on the level of health coverage you select. You pay the cost of any remaining premiums.

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Dental Insurance

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who work at least 20 hours per week and participate in the health insurance program.
What do you get? Specific discounted treatment fees through contracted dentists with no deductibles and co-payments, or your choice of a dentist for preventive, restorative, and major services with deductibles and co-payments that you pay.
Who pays? You pay the premiums for the coverage.

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Life, Disability, and Other Optional Insurance Coverages

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who work at least 20 hours per week and participate in the health insurance program.
What do you get? An automatic $5,000 term life insurance policy, with accidental death and dismemberment benefits; term and whole life insurance in amounts equal to one, two, three or four times your annual salary; short and long term disability insurance; and a variety of other optional insurance coverages.
Who pays? The state pays the premium for the automatic $5,000 term life insurance policy. You pay the premiums for all optional coverages you select.

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Retirement

Who is eligible? DFPS Employees
What do you get?

A retirement annuity when you are eligible to retire. To qualify for normal retirement without benefits, you must have at least 10 years service at age 65. To qualify for normal retirement with full benefits, you must be at least 65 years of age and have at least 10 years of service, or the combination of your age and length of service, including months of age and service, equals at least 80.

Exceptions: If the employee was hired on or after September 1, 2009; or was a former state employee rehired on or after September 1, 2009 and previously withdrew his or her ERS retirement contributions, the employee who retires under the Rule of 80 will have his or her annuity permanently reduced by five percent for every year the employee retires before age 60, with a maximum reduction of 25 percent.

For more information about retirement, visit the ERS website at www.ers.state.tx.us, or call (877) 275-4377.

Who pays?

You contribute 6.5% of your gross monthly salary, and the state contributes 6.95%.

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Supplemental Retirement

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who opt for, and pay into, supplemental retirement programs.
What do you get? Various types of investment plans such as life insurance, variable and fixed annuities, mutual funds, bank/savings and loan products, credit unions, stock plans, and fixed income plans through two programs--Deferred Compensation and Texa$aver. The money you put into either program is not subject to federal income tax until you withdraw it.
Who pays? If you choose to participate in one or both of these programs, you defer money from your salary into the selected program and pay any applicable fees. DFPS and the state pay most of the programs’ administrative costs but do not contribute any matching funds.

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Service Purchase Buyback

Who is eligible? DFPS employees with previously refunded, or never-credited, state service or military time who choose to buy back the time to increase future retirement benefits.
What do you get? Application of eligible state service, or military time, to increase your years of service toward retirement. Your retirement account is credited when you have purchased one year of service or paid off the cost of the total purchase, whichever option you choose.
Who pays? You may purchase eligible prior service through a lump sum payment or payroll deduction.

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Flexible Benefits

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Premium Conversion and TexFlex Reimbursement Accounts. The Premium Conversion allows you to pay for your selected insurance coverage premiums (with the exception of dependent life [and short and long term disability]) with untaxed income. The TexFlex Reimbursement Account allows you to pay for dependent care and health care expenses not covered by your health insurance plan with untaxed income.
Who pays? You pay your portion of your group insurance and any other optional insurance premiums and decide how much of your salary you want redirected into your reimbursement accounts. The redirected amounts must be applied to costs incurred during that fiscal year. Any remaining balance will not be refunded or applied to costs incurred in other fiscal years.

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Workers’ Compensation

Who is eligible? DFPS employees with an on-the-job injury or occupational disease.
What do you get? Medical benefits, temporary weekly income, impairment income, supplemental income, lifetime income, or death and burial benefits if you have an eligible on-the-job injury or occupational disease.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Savings Bonds

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Savings bonds in the amount you purchase.
Who pays? You pay.

Texas Legal Protection Plan

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Texas Legal protection plan covers attorney's fees for advice and representation for a number of criminal and civil actions, and work-related or personal matters.
Who pays? You pay.

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Credit Unions

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Eligibility for membership in various credit unions, all providing a wide range of financial services, including checking accounts.
Who pays? Most credit unions require a minimum $25 share deposit to open an account.

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Employee Assistance Program

Who is eligible? DFPS employees, their families, and DFPS retirees and their families.
What do you get? Confidential, professional counseling and referral services. You and your immediate family members (spouse and dependent children) are allowed up to five free visits each year.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Parking

Who is eligible? DFPS employees, depending on office location.
What do you get? Free parking around all state owned and leased buildings, as well as designated parking for employees with disabilities.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Discounts

Who is eligible? DFPS employees
What do you get? Several businesses such as Dell and Microsoft, hotels/motels such as La Quinta, car rentals at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and mobile phone providers such as Verizon, Sprint, and Cingular, offer discounts on their products or services.
Who pays? You pay a discounted price.

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Compensation

Direct Deposit of Pay Checks

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Your monthly pay and travel checks deposited directly into your account at your designated financial institution.
Who pays? DFPS and the state pay administrative costs and fees.

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Longevity Pay

Who is eligible? Full-time regular employees with three or more years of state service.
What do you get? An additional $20.00 per month for each two years of service, up to a maximum of $420.00 per month.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Benefit Replacement Pay

Who is eligible? Employees who: were hired by a state agency on or before 8/31/95; were an active state employee on 8/31/95; and have had less than a 12 month break in state service since 8/31/95.
What do you get? Benefit replacement pay covers the portion of the Social Security (FICA) contribution previously paid by the state, up to a maximum of $1,026.86 each calendar year.
Who pays? The state pays.

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State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Opportunity to contribute to the charity of your choice during this annual fall campaign. New employees may authorize a charitable deduction during the new hire orientation process.
Who pays? DFPS and the state pay administrative costs of the program. The employee makes the desired contribution by cash, check, bank draft, or monthly payroll deductions.

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Texas Tomorrow Fund

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Opportunity to establish a contract to prepay college tuition for your child or children during this annual campaign
Who pays? You pay.

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Leave

Annual Leave

Who is eligible? DFPS employees with at least six continuous months of state service.
What do you get? A certain number of annual leave hours each month, depending on your total years of state employment. New employees earn but may not use annual leave until they have been employed by the state for at least six continuous months.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Sick Leave

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Eight hours of sick leave each month.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Parent-Teacher Conference Leave

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Employees who are parents, or stand in a parental relation, of a child who is a student attending a grade from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade may use up to eight hours of sick leave each calendar year to attend parent-teacher conference sessions for the employee's children.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Extended Sick Leave

Who is eligible? Employees who have: at least three years of state service; performance that meets or exceeds standards; used sick leave appropriately; and exhausted all other paid leave.
What do you get? An additional amount of paid sick leave for a catastrophic illness, as defined in agency policy.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Sick Leave Pool

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who have a catastrophic illness or an immediate family member with a catastrophic illness. Employees must have exhausted all paid leave before requesting leave from the sick leave pool.
What do you get? An additional amount of paid sick leave for a catastrophic illness, as defined in agency policy.
Who pays? DFPS employees donate the sick leave hours to this pool.

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Emergency Leave

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Up to 24 hours of paid leave in the event of the death of an immediate family members.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Administrative Leave for Outstanding Performance

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who have demonstrated outstanding performance, as documented in the employee's most recent performance appraisal.
What do you get? Additional paid leave for performance that exceeds standards, as documented on your annual performance appraisal.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Military Leave

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who are members of state military forces or reserve components of the United states Armed Forces.
What do you get? Up to 15 workdays of paid leave each federal fiscal year to attend authorized active duty for training.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Jury Duty Leave

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Leave with pay during jury service.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Family and Medical Leave

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who have worked for the state at least 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the start of FMLA-protected leave.
What do you get? Job protection for up to 12 weeks for birth, or adoption, of a child; your own serious health condition; or your spouse's, child's or parent's serious health condition.
Who pays? DFPS continues to pay your salary during any portion of your 12 week entitlement when you are using accrued annual or sick leave, extended sick leave, or sick leave pool leave. DFPS will also continue to pay the state portion of your group insurance premium whether you are on paid or unpaid leave. You pay the cost of any remaining premiums (group insurance and all optional coverages) you have selected.

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Parental Leave

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who have worked for the state less than 12 months or have worked less than 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding the beginning of the leave period.
What do you get? Absence due to the birth of a natural child or the adoption or foster care placement of a child under the age of three. Eligibility begins with the day the child is born or the adoptive child is placed in the employee's home and ends 12 weeks later. If an employee is eligible for Parental Leave the employee will not be eligible for FMLA-protected leave.
Who pays? DFPS continues to pay your salary during any portion of your 12 week entitlement when you are using accrued annual, hour-for-hour compensatory, and FLSA time-and-a-half overtime leave. The use of sick leave, including sick leave pool leave, under this policy is limited to those situations that meet the definition/criteria for the use of sick leave for illness or injury. DFPS will also continue to pay the state portion of your group insurance premium whether you are on paid or unpaid leave. You pay the cost of any remaining premiums (group insurance and all optional coverages) you have selected.

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Holidays

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Up to nine national and eight state holidays during each calendar year. Up to four optional holidays, for designated religious observations may be substituted for an eligible state holiday on a one-for-one basis.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Recognition

Retirement Awards

Who is eligible? Employees who retire from DFPS.
What do you get? A retirement certificate and small gift.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Outstanding Employee Awards

Who is eligible? DFPS employees who have worked for the agency at least six months, are nominated by their peers, have an above-average job performance rating, are endorsed by their supervisors, and are not violating DFPS Standards of Conduct.
What do you get? Regional and statewide recognition for outstanding performance, as detailed in the Human Resources Manual.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Service Awards

Who is eligible? Employees with five years of state service receive a certificate of appreciation beginning with the fifth year of service, and then at each additional five-year interval.
What do you get? A certificate of appreciation.
Who pays? DFPS pays.

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Wellness

Who is eligible? DFPS employees.
What do you get? Each region has the latitude to implement a Wellness Program that conforms to regional needs. DFPS does offer non-smoking offices and facilities; HIV/AIDS awareness training; and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Employees can receive up to 30 minutes, 3 times a week in flex time to engage in wellness activities. In addition, employees can receive 8 hours of leave annually for completing a Health Risk Assessment and a routine physical exam by your physician.
Who pays? DFPS pays

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