MdBrndPhrmcst

Keeping it real....
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 12, 2006
105
0
Maryland
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Pharmacist
Hi I’ve been trying to do a comparison of retirement and benefits offered by different companies. I’m trying to compare my current company (Kaiser) with my former (the VA). I’d like to get some input from anyone who is working at the VA regarding there benefits.

(I don’t want to go into which place is better to work at I think they are both wonderful)

Kaiser:
- $15,500 tax sheltered annuity (to be paid by employee)
- Equivalent of 5% of yearly salary placed into annuity every year after 2 years of service
-$1500 a year for continuing education
- Pension: total average monthly compensation x 1.5% x years of service paid to employee every month after retirement. Can not be accessed until age 65.
- Obviously inexpensive life/disability/dental medical insurance as long as you are employed with Kaiser

This what I think the VA offers based on my residency there and job listing I’ve looked at, please correct me if I’m wrong or missing anything.

VA:
- $15,500 401K (to be paid by employee) employer will match up to 5% of salary each year
- $5,000 a year tuition reimbursement up to $40,000 total
- Obviously inexpensive life/disability/dental medical insurance as long as you are employed with the VA

- No pension -->(anecdotal), is this true!!!? I would think a govt job would offer a pension.
- Life time medical coverage after 20 years -->(anecdotal), is this true??!!! (sounds to good to be true, I know public health service does this but this is after years of lower gross pay)

Did I leave anything out for those of you who are working at the VA? And is it true is no pension but full medical benefits lifetime after 20 years?

For those of you working elsewhere do your hospitals/community pharmacies offer better? worse?

Thanks in advance!!:)
 

pharmdinfl

10+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2007
134
1
Florida
Status
Pharmacist
:)VA:
- $15,500 401K (to be paid by employee) employer will match up to 5% of salary each year
- $5,000 a year tuition reimbursement up to $40,000 total
- Obviously inexpensive life/disability/dental medical insurance as long as you are employed with the VA

- No pension -->(anecdotal), is this true!!!? I would think a govt job would offer a pension.
- Life time medical coverage after 20 years -->(anecdotal), is this true??!!! (sounds to good to be true, I know public health service does this but this is after years of lower gross pay)

Did I leave anything out for those of you who are working at the VA? And is it true is no pension but full medical benefits lifetime after 20 years?

For those of you working elsewhere do your hospitals/community pharmacies offer better? worse?

Thanks in advance!!:)[/quote]

I'm new to the VA - only started a few weeks ago, so I can't help much because I'm still sifting through a mountain of benefits paperwork. I would, however, recommende that you check out www.opm.gov for information regarding benefits - in particular ....http://www.opm.gov/retire/index.aspx for retirement information. There is something similar to what the civilian refers to as a pension,....it's part of the FERS Retirement plan and it basically awards you a certain percentage of the average of your highest 3 salaries and it factors in the number of years you worked for the government and also your age. Unfortunately, the govn't is FULL of paperwork and lots of pages of benefit information so it's not as cut and dry and some places ....you'll have to do a bit of research.
 
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MdBrndPhrmcst

Keeping it real....
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
May 12, 2006
105
0
Maryland
Status
Pharmacist
interesting.. yeah you're right the VA benefits are a little bit confusing...it seems like you r able to contribute more pre tax then kaiser.

Thanks for your input! good luck on your carrer with the VA its a great place to work
 

UNMorBUST

Mystery Man
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Sep 24, 2008
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Land Of Enchantment(Burque Baby)
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Yea ill second the keeping your insurance. My dad retired from the govt. and keeps his old insurance throught the govt. because it is cheaper. He gets to pocket all the money he would be spending on insurance at his new employer.
 
Jun 24, 2015
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Optometry Student
I know this is an old thread, but I'm just wondering what the OP ended up deciding. I'm actually in the same situation and wanted to know how you felt about your final decision.

I'm looking forward to hear more about your experience. Thanks in advance!
 

bacillus1

10+ Year Member
May 27, 2008
2,832
484
Status
Pharmacist
VA has pension, but as a new employee you'll have to contribute 4.4% of your salary toward it.

The pension would cover long-term disability (very confusing coverage), but not short-term. VA has no short-term disability or long-term care insurance.

Also many VA positions have loan repayment up to 60k, depending on how much you owe. It's a ton of paperwork though and I'm still awaiting my first installment.
 
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