Federal Employee Awareness of Benefits Program Content and Value

FPCD-79-53: Published: May 14, 1979. Publicly Released: May 14, 1979.

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Based on informal surveys, federal employees substantially underestimate the value of their benefits. The present method of providing general announcements and descriptive brochures aimed at large groups of employees does little to inform individuals about the specific value of their benefits.

The disclosure practices of public employee retirement systems at the federal, state, and local level fall considerably short of the standard set for private pension plans under existing legislation. It is required that all private pension plans provide covered employees, upon request, a statement showing total benefits accrued and the vested or nonforfeitable portion. The cost of providing federal employees personalized annual benefits statements is nominal. The cost varies depending on the amount of detail in the statements, the kind of records available, and the size of the work force receiving the statements.

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