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Summary of NIST Employee Benefits

NIST recognizes that excellence in the Institute's performance requires excellence in the performance of its people. Through our Alternative Personnel Management System, NIST is able to offer competitive pay and benefits programs designed to attract and retain people who share this commitment to excellence. The following table provides an overview of the benefits program at NIST. More detailed information about each program can be obtained by clicking on the appropriate links.

Benefits Summary Chart

Benefit Who Pays for It? When are you Eligible? What Do You Receive?

Retirement Plan

NIST and Employee

First day of employment

Upon retirement, lifetime monthly payments based on your total length of creditable service and your "high 3" average salary. Federal retirement systems also provide for death and long term disability benefits. For more information, visit:

Thrift Savings Plan

NIST and Employee

Same pay period in which HR receives the form

Employees are automatically enrolled in the TSP and 3% of their basic pay is deducted from their paycheck each pay period and deposited in their TSP account. This amount can be increased, decreased or stopped at any time. For more information, employees may call the Thriftline at 1-TSP-YOU-FRST (1-877-968-3778) or visit:

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)

NIST pays approximately 70% and employee pays the remainder

First full pay period after employment begins

A variety of health plans from which to choose including fee for service type plans, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and high deductible health plans with health savings accounts. For more information, click on one of the following links:

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

NIST and Employee

First day of employment unless waived

Employees are automatically covered by basic life insurance coverage their first day of employment, and they can elect additional optional coverage for themselves and/or their family within 60 days of their hire date. For more information, visit:

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)


First day of employment. The effective date is the next day after enrollment.

A tax-favored program allowing employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. For more information, visit https://www.fsafeds.com or call 1-877-FSAFEDS (1-877-372-3337)

Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)


Anytime within the first 60 days from first day of employment with abbreviated underwriting; however, employees may apply for coverage at any time

Assistance and care if you are unable to perform everyday tasks due to chronic illness, injury, disability or the aging process. Terms of coverage and premium costs vary depending on program options elected, location where care is received, and age. Qualified relatives may also apply for coverage. For more information, call 1-800-LTCFEDS (1-800-582-3337) or visit:

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) Employee First full pay period after employment begins

This Program allows dental and vision insurance to be purchased on a group basis which means competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations. For more information, visit:

Flexible Work Hours

NIST pays full salary

First day of employment

A variety of work schedules are available for NIST employees, subject to supervisory approval, and recognizes the need for some employees to adjust their hours during the workweek.

Annual Leave

NIST pays full salary

First day of employment

Paid time off for vacation and personal days. Amount of annual leave earned depends on length of Federal service. For the first three years of Federal employment, employees earn four hours of annual leave every two weeks.

Sick Leave

NIST pays full salary

First day of employment

Paid time off for illness, medical examinations, etc. All federal employees earn four hours of sick leave every two weeks.


NIST pays full salary

First day of employment

Paid time off for Federal holidays (10 per year)

Other Benefits of NIST Employment

Benefit What do you get?


The National Institute of Standards and Technology recognizes the importance of rewarding its employees for a job well-done.  A number of different awards can be given for exemplary work.

Childcare Services On-site childcare for children of various ages.
Credit Union A full line of financial services is provided to members including personal, home equity, and auto loans as well as checking and savings accounts at competitive rates.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Free, confidential counseling and referral services for employees and their families.
Employee Associations NIST fitness centers and various welfare, recreation, and social activities sponsored by employee-operated organizations.
Employee Support Groups A variety of groups offering support to certain individuals.

Family-Friendly Leave Policies

Paid or unpaid time off under certain circumstances.

Part-Time Employment Part-time employment may be available with a modified benefits package, subject to supervisory approval.


Ability to work either at home or a satellite work center, subject to supervisory approval.

Transportation Services

Transportation subsidies if commuting via mass transit; also a free shuttle for Gaithersburg employees that runs between NIST buildings and the Shady Grove Metro Station.

MARC Train Shuttle: The Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) Metropolitan Grove Station is the closest train station to NIST. There is a free NIST shuttle service in the morning and afternoon for NIST employees.