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News Release

Thursday, May 05, 2005
Contact: Brendan LaCivita
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Acting Director Dan G. Blair Releases Results of 2004 Employee Benefits Survey

Five benefits key in federal employees' decisions to accept or remain in federal employment

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting Director Dan G. Blair today released the results of the 2004 Employee Benefits Survey. The purpose of the survey was to determine employee attitudes about the importance, adequacy, value, and competitiveness of federal benefit programs.

"Our benefits' survey focused on ten benefit programs, ranging from health benefits to retirement annuities, from the Thrift Savings Plan to telework and child care subsidies," stated OPM Acting Director Dan G. Blair. "The survey not only confirmed federal employees highly value their benefits, but it produced some instructive results that tell us today's civil servants appreciate the opportunity to manage their own hard-earned dollars."

Last November, OPM issued the survey to a random sample of over 2,400 employees governmentwide. The target population included equal numbers of current employees with three or more years of federal service, and new hires who had less than three years service. OPM received over 850 responses by the end of the eight-week administration period, in January 2005. Survey participants answered a 60-item questionnaire involving ten benefit programs including Thrift Savings Plan; employee health benefits; retiree health benefits; retirement annuity; life insurance; long term care insurance; flexible spending accounts; health and wellness programs; telework; and child care subsidies.

The Thrift Savings Plan, employee health benefits, retiree health benefits, and retirement annuity consistently rated the highest in importance and value. Life insurance benefits rated the fifth highest. The lowest rated benefits included telework, child care subsidies, and health and wellness programs.

Some benefit programs received lower ratings because not all employees meet eligibility requirements. For instance, not all federal employees are eligible for childcare subsidies and some may be unable to participate in telework.

Lower ratings for some benefit programs may point to educational opportunities.  For example, flexible spending accounts received relatively low ratings; therefore, increasing education on this program should raise employee perception of its value and may increase enrollment in the program.

"We want tomorrow's federal workers, whether they are this year's college graduates or experienced senior professionals, to know the benefits of Working for America - in every sense of the word - are the best in the world," added Blair.

To access the survey results, please visit:  

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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