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Old 09-20-2017, 04:53 PM
 
2,678 posts, read 1,540,967 times
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Getting a Federal job can be a challenge, no matter how qualified the individual. Trust me - I was involved in hiring for years at VA Central Office (Headquarters) (VACO). And importantly, many jobs are for status candidates only. This means folks who have already held (or are holding) a Federal job.

These facts together suggest that one start wherever one can get a Federal position. With time, making a change becomes easier.

Only the OP can decide what's best for her, but a job in hand, even if not ideal, is valuable, especially since, as we get older, getting jobs is harder. Age discrimination is an unfortunate part of life these days.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:20 PM
 
1,183 posts, read 761,331 times
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differentials do not raise your pension. pension is determined off of base salary.

the amount differentials raise your yearly earnings depends solely on how often you work shifts that have differential. how many holidays you work also impacts yearly earnings.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,659 posts, read 1,523,899 times
Reputation: 3640
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
-- just for the retiree benefits? (which would be nice to have, but I don't HAVE to have to make retirement "affordable."
Is doing that job for 5 -- but likely 8 years -- worth the retiree benefits later?

This is why I'm having such a hard time... I'm trying to put a monetary (benefit) value later -- on quality of life now and in the mean time.

Thank to everyone. I really have been torn about this. Clearly I still am.

I DO want to add that many people think of it as a glorified security guard. Trust me. There's MUCH more to it than that.
Transportation Security Officers do get a bad rap where that is concerned.
Does the retail job offer any benefits, especially health insurance? Does it pay more than the TSA job? Could you afford to continue to contribute to an IRA with that job?

What is the difference in cost between Medicare Part B + Medigap versus Medicare Part B + FEHB? Is it that much of a difference?

Is TSA going to offer you a job soon (e.g., government jobs take a long time to fill)? Why not take the retail job and see if you like it in the interim? A retail job could offer similar headaches to the TSA job in dealing with the public and I assume you could still be working weekends and holidays. If you don't like retail, you can then accept the TSA job if you get an offer or apply for other federal jobs.

As I see it, the TSP match is a wash because you are contributing 4.4% towards retirement. I don't think that holiday and weekend pay get factored into your pension, only your base pay applies. But MMOB may correct me on that. Your pension will be $2-3K a year which is the equivalent of about $50-70K in a 401k withdrawing 4% a year, $90K at most if your pay increases to $45K. If you don't get a federal job, three years of ACA if you retire at 62 might cost you another $30K. So unless Medigap is very expensive compared to FEHB, we are talking about at most $90K net worth for 5-8 years of a job that you already hate. I don't see that this is worth it to you with your current attitude towards the TSA job.

But you could also hate retail. And you have to have a thick skin to be a fed, ignore all the trash talk, and be proud that you are fulfilling a public service. Helping to ensure air safety seems more important to me than selling someone a cup of coffee or a wrench or a dress. It is not your fault some jerk did not allow enough time before their air flight and is now in a hurry to get through security. Some of the women on this forum have complained about being groped by TSA agents but I travel regularly for my job and have never had a problem although many of the agents can be very grumpy.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:26 PM
 
6,880 posts, read 7,281,254 times
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Quote:
If positions such as these are of interest to you go to the usajobs.gov web site and you can search for these type of positions and all other Federal Government positions available in the area where you live and apply right online.
Thanks I'm well acquainted with the process. For more than 6 months now, I've applied for ever Fed job of interest, that I thought I'd even be remotely deems as "highly qualified" enough to be "referred" to the hiring official.

Many I'm only qualified for based on the "education requirement" -- meaning a bachelors and or master's to qualify based on education alone.

Also if you answer no experience for any of the questionnaire questions you pretty much will not be referred, and you have to be out veterans, the disabled -- and sometimes even veterans' spouses. A fed worker familiar with the hiring process said you pretty much have to be disabled or a vet to be in the top 3 and be referred. I'm NOT willing to say I have a disability when I know I don't -- just to be hired under schedule A -- but people do it.

Quote:
differentials do not raise your pension. pension is determined off of base salary.
That's what I expected. The position starts with a D Band salary of about 35,600. That's NOT a GS- 10 step position with raises guaranteed. SO there's no way to know what might last three years of pension-qualified salary would be. After 7 years would I be making a base of 37K, 40K who knows. If high calculations aren't too far off, even a pension based on three years of 40K a year would only be about 330-and change a month. A pension based on three years of 37k would be about 308.

The pension would pay for my FEHB premium. So basically I'd have free health care. (not really free, but let just say -- it'd be paid for by money that wouldn't come out of my investments and retirement accounts.)

The 401k comparisons to the job I'm getting and other non-Fed jobs that could still come through are fairly even so the Fed Thrift Savings Plan is no real plus for me. That's a wash. The FEHB and pension (annuity) are the ONLY carrots.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:40 PM
 
6,880 posts, read 7,281,254 times
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Quote:
Does the retail job offer any benefits, especially health insurance? Does it pay more than the TSA job? Could you afford to continue to contribute to an IRA with that job?
Yes to health insurance and it's highly rated. Doesn't pay more than TSA to start, but could in a few years. (regular raises built into the pay scale even if I don't rise in responsibilities to a shift leader position. Regular basic job tops out at about $18 an hour. I'll take that for socking shelves and running a register. (And not having to do pat downs. And where purple gloves to go through people s suitcases)

Quote:
What is the difference in cost between Medicare Part B + Medigap versus Medicare Part B + FEHB? Is it that much of a difference?
Don't know. I haven't done that math...yet. Was trying NOT to do that math. Just eventually decide with the info I have.

Quote:
Is TSA going to offer you a job soon (e.g., government jobs take a long time to fill)? Why not take the retail job and see if you like it in the interim? A retail job could offer similar headaches to the TSA job in dealing with the public and I assume you could still be working weekends and holidays. If you don't like retail, you can then accept the TSA job if you get an offer or apply for other federal jobs.
I'm thinking I could get called in time to start by the holidays. "Provisional offer" which they sort of make to lots of people, but I have I'm pretty far into the process. Or it may not call. If it never does I'm OK with that. and more than happy to move on.

Quote:
As I see it, the TSP match is a wash because you are contributing 4.4% towards retirement. I don't think that holiday and weekend pay get factored into your pension, only your base pay applies. But MMOB may correct me on that. Your pension will be $2-3K a year which is the equivalent of about $50-70K in a 401k withdrawing 4% a year, $90K at most if your pay increases to $45K. If you don't get a federal job, three years of ACA if you retire at 62 might cost you another $30K. So unless Medigap is very expensive compared to FEHB, we are talking about at most $90K net worth for 5-8 years of a job that you already hate. I don't see that this is worth it to you with your current attitude towards the TSA job.
Thanks I'll have to look at that math a little closer. This is really helpful. I'd hate to turn down a Fed job, but.....why is it THIS fed job the one that's the only one I could get. Of all jobs...THIS one.

Quote:
But you could also hate retail. And you have to have a thick skin to be a fed, ignore all the trash talk, and be proud that you are fulfilling a public service. Helping to ensure air safety seems more important to me than selling someone a cup of coffee or a wrench or a dress. It is not your fault some jerk did not allow enough time before their air flight and is now in a hurry to get through security. Some of the women on this forum have complained about being groped by TSA agents but I travel regularly for my job and have never had a problem although many of the agents can be very grumpy.
True. But I'm more excited about the retail job than I ever was about TSA. It doesn't help that no one I've met who works for TSA likes it. And they, themselves, want trying to leave. Where as this retailer is major, and known for taking really good care of its people -- with benefits and quality of life. I've shopped there for years. And have talked with multiple workers at multiple locations in multiple states. They really do like it there. It's definitely a career kind of place....to the point where I could be perfectly happy doing with years there.

Obviously, I'm taking the retail job. And may even just stop looking for a Fed job. If I can't get 5 years in by 65.....the Fed carrot of "5 years and you get a pension and FEHB" is a non issue. I'm retiring as soon as I sign up for Medicare. Might cut back to part-time but I'm using these next 8 years to be ready for out at 65. (I have a pension coming from my previous job)

Last edited by selhars; 09-20-2017 at 07:02 PM..
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:57 PM
 
6,880 posts, read 7,281,254 times
Reputation: 9786
Thanks to everyone for your info, expertise and trying to help.

Let me just ask you all outright.....
Would you work for the TSA as a regular old on the airport security line Transportation Security Officer....would you do that for 8 years, just for the retirement benefits?

The job means:
-- working with the traveling public, and when need be doing pat downs, general stress, constant observation
-- early mornings and late nights, working for all intents and purposes EVERY holiday, and every weekend
-- a non flexible schedule, equipment re-certs/tests every year, fighting a bad publicity image
-- base pay 36K a year (more with OT, shift and holiday pay)

Or would you rather a slightly-less paying job you might enjoy more without the gov't retirement benefits?
(the job has benefits just not those specific retirement benefits and job protections)

Thanks
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:04 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,253 posts, read 4,139,840 times
Reputation: 15661
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
Thanks to everyone for your info, expertise and trying to help.

Let me just ask you all outright.....
Would you work for the TSA as a regular old on the airport security line Transportation Security Officer....would you do that for 8 years, just for the retirement benefits?

The job means:
-- working with the traveling public, and when need be doing pat downs, general stress, constant observation
-- early mornings and late nights, working for all intents and purposes EVERY holiday, and every weekend
-- a non flexible schedule, equipment re-certs/tests every year, fighting a bad publicity image
-- base pay 36K a year (more with OT, shift and holiday pay)

Or would you rather a slightly-less paying job you might enjoy more without the gov't retirement benefits?
(the job has benefits just not those specific retirement benefits and job protections)

Thanks
Too little money for you have to do. But, it's easy to get a job there if you can pass the background check, which a significant part of the population can't. I would actually be a good fit for that position, but I retired when I was 60 and have no desire to ever go back to work. But I also have a State of Alaska pension and a military pension, as well as free-to-me health insurance, that allows me to be quite comfortable, even if I'm the last one standing. It really boils down to what works best for you. Working for the feds gets you another retirement and health insurance while you're working. That would mean a lot to some people.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:51 AM
 
Location: R.I.
977 posts, read 605,084 times
Reputation: 4232
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
Thanks to everyone for your info, expertise and trying to help.

Let me just ask you all outright.....
Would you work for the TSA as a regular old on the airport security line Transportation Security Officer....would you do that for 8 years, just for the retirement benefits?

The job means:
-- working with the traveling public, and when need be doing pat downs, general stress, constant observation
-- early mornings and late nights, working for all intents and purposes EVERY holiday, and every weekend
-- a non flexible schedule, equipment re-certs/tests every year, fighting a bad publicity image
-- base pay 36K a year (more with OT, shift and holiday pay)

Or would you rather a slightly-less paying job you might enjoy more without the gov't retirement benefits?
(the job has benefits just not those specific retirement benefits and job protections)

Thanks
Maybe I missed this somewhere in your posts but have you got called in for an interview for the TSA position ? The reason I ask is because I work with a woman who is in her early 50s, already a Federal Government employee x 18+ years working in our employee health department, a Veteran, and a very highly respected employee. She applied for a TSA position wanting to do something different. She got an interview for the position and did not get offered the job.

Even if your application got forwarded to the hiring person, so likely did many other individual's applications. You may think you have the qualifications for this position, but those you would potentially interview with could see things differently. I have been involved in many interviews for potential employees in my department, and many times individuals who look great on paper something comes up during an interview which is a red flag that that person would not likely be a good fit for the position. You are already very consumed with the cons of this position, and a skilled interviewer can discover this about you with the questions they ask. Many highly qualified individuals did not get offered positions in my department because through the interview process it was discovered many were not really interested in the position but it was a stepping stone to another position or they were trying to escape the position they were in. You really have no interest in doing the work involved in this TSA position and are only considering it for the benefits, and if you don't think a skilled interviewer can connect those dots they can.

You are at the very early stages of potential employment with the Government, and at this point if you have that retail job offer take it if you need the work. If you are fortunate to get an interview for the TSA position and then get offered the position, through the interview process you will gain more first hand knowledge about the specifics about the position and then at that point you weigh your pros and cons. If you then decide the cons outweigh the pros you decline the job offer and you still have a job to continue with. If it goes the other way then you accept the position and resign from your retail job.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,846,832 times
Reputation: 6379
selhars if federal employment is your ultimate goal you might need to aim at low hanging fruit first. Once in the system you can then find higher paying gigs and work your way up. Many positions even on usajobs.gov has the requirement of being only open to current federal employees. Good luck.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:27 AM
 
6,880 posts, read 7,281,254 times
Reputation: 9786
Quote:
If you are fortunate to get an interview for the TSA position and then get offered the position, through the interview process you will gain more first hand knowledge about the specifics about the position...
Sorry I wasn't clear. I've done that already.

Quote:
and then at that point you weigh your pros and cons. If you then decide the cons outweigh the pros you decline the job offer and you still have a job to continue with.
Thanks, but that's the whole point of my question. I can't decide.
I really do lean "yes" one day.....a person would be crazy to turn down a fed gig , right?
And "no" the next...I just can't trade 8 years of a job I don't think I'd enjoy. Not even for Fed retiree benefits.

Quote:
you might need to aim at low hanging fruit first. Once in the system you can then find higher paying gigs and work your way up. Many positions even on usajobs.gov has the requirement of being only open to current federal employees.
Yeah I know. TSA has a bad rep even among other agencies. Plus its a Band pay scale not GS. So moving over has some additional salary issues.
It's just frustrating because of all the applications I've put out there...THIS is the one that seems to be coming though. The only one I actually have no interest in -- other than for the benefits. Low hanging fruit is right! And not in the best way.

A family member advised me that life is too short to take a job you really don't want -- just for the benefits. That's my dilemma. But we talk all the time on this board about how important health care and a pension are. I just don't know whether they should be deciding factor if the job isn't really what you want. (and when retirement would be OK anyway. BETTER with another pension. But is that FEHB and little retirement annuity make or break? No. But better to have than not have right? And friends remind me...about the voluntary buyout I took from a previous job...and ask is THIS why you did that? For a job you don't think you want? You have the chance (blessed freedom) to actually DECIDE what you want to do. And THAT's it? TSA? My answer is 'No not really."

Maybe I'd like TSA more than I think I would. I have to say it would help IF through this entire process -- I had met ONE person who truly enjoyed working there. Instead of two who wanted to leave. And another who said..."it's OK." That's not enticing now is it?

I don't think anyone who has posted here has said...Yes they'd take a job they thought they's hate....just for the retiree benefits. Not even the Fed benefits. That's what I'm serous about how many of you would do that? So far..... no one.

Last edited by selhars; 09-28-2017 at 09:49 AM..
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