Pay & Benefits

DCSA employees are hired into positions in the GG grade structure and compensated under the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS).  Salaries include base pay and a local market supplement, and are the same as the locality area pay tables for Federal General Schedule (GS) grades and steps. Most employees have salaries that start at step 1 of the position’s grade. Employees move up the 10-step range of a grade by completing waiting periods:  one year each for steps 2 through 4, two years for steps 5 through 7, and three years for steps 8 through 10.

DCSA makes significant employer payments for major employee benefits, such as health insurance, basic life insurance, and retirement. For example, a GG-13 step 1 employee in the Washington DC metro area earns $112,015 in annual salary. With an additional $48,886 paid by DCSA for benefits, the total value to the employee is $160,901.

DCSA Pay and Benefits Example showing a compensation bar chart for a GG-13 Step 1. Base annual salary of $84,546. Annual local market supplement of $27,469. Group health insurance of $15,897. Retirement (FERS basic) of $18,594. Social security and Medicare (FICA) taxes of $8,569. TSP (Government automatic 1% and 4% matching) of $5,601.

These employee benefits describe many of the advantages of working for DCSA:

Annual Leave

Annual Leave provides authorized absence from work with pay and is commonly used for vacations and other personal time off from work. Most new, full-time DCSA employees earn:

  • 4 hours of annual leave for each two-week pay period (13 days each year) during the first 3 years of service
  • 6 hours of annual leave per pay period (20 days per year) for years of service 4 through 15
  • 8 hours pay period (26 days per year) after 15 years of service

Part-time employees with an established bi-weekly work requirement earn annual leave on a pro-rated basis (e.g., one hour of annual for each 20 hours in a pay status for employees with less than 3 years of service). Your initial annual leave accrual rate will be set based on any previous periods of creditable service. You can carry over up to 240 hours (30 days) of unused annual leave from year to year and can "cash it out" when you retire or resign from federal service.

Sick Leave

Sick Leave allows an authorized absence from work with pay for illness or injury; medical, dental, or eye exams and treatment; pregnancy and childbirth. Full-time employees earn 4 hours of sick leave each pay period (13 days per year). Employees can accrue an unlimited number of sick leave hours. Unused sick leave can increase your monthly annuity at retirement. The Family Friendly Leave Act allows some use of sick leave to care for a family member or to make arrangements for or to attend the funeral of a family member.

11 Paid Federal Holidays

New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day)
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day

Court Leave

Court leave is an authorized absence for employees called by a federal, state, or municipal court as a juror or as a witness in a case where a government entity is a party. Personal leave will not be charged, and there will be no loss of pay in such a circumstance. The employee must present the summons or subpoena before the leave is granted and a certificate of attendance afterward.

Parental Leave

The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for birth or placement (adoption or foster care) of a new child during the 12-months after the event.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Employees can request up to 12 workweeks of unpaid FMLA leave during any 12-month period for:

  • The care of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition.

  • A serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of their position.

  • A qualifying exigency arising from the fact that the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee is on covered active duty in the Armed Forces, or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty.

Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP)

Under the VLTP, an employee may donate annual leave directly to another employee in DCSA or another Federal agency who has a personal or family medical emergency and who has exhausted his or her available paid leave. There is no limit on the amount of donated annual leave a leave recipient may receive from the leave donor(s), but each donor can contribute no more than half of the annual leave they will earn year in the leave year. Any unused donated leave must be returned to the leave donor(s) when the medical emergency ends.

Voluntary Leave Bank Program

The Voluntary Leave Bank Program allows employees who are members and contribute to the DCSA Leave Bank to request leave from it when they or a family member experience a medical emergency. Employees must exhaust their own annual and sick leave during the emergency and provide supporting medical documentation to qualify for leave assistance.

Health Insurance

The Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHB) provides a wide range of health insurance plans and coverage options. DCSA pays about three-fourths of the health insurance premium. Your share of the premiums can be paid with “pre-tax” dollars, so you take home more of what you earn. For additional information, visit

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP)

Dental and vision benefits are available to eligible employees on an enrollee-pay-all basis. This program allows dental insurance and vision insurance to be purchased on a group basis, which means competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations. Premiums for enrolled federal and postal employees are withheld from salary on a (pre-tax) basis. For additional information, visit

Life Insurance

DCSA shares the cost of Basic group life insurance through the Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program. The Basic coverage amount is an employee’s annual salary rounded up to the next $1000 plus another $2000. Employees pay two-thirds of the premium cost and DCSA pays the other third. FEGLI Optional insurance can be added to increase your coverage amount. For additional information, visit

Flexible Spending Accounts

FSAFEDS allows you to save money for health care expenses with a Health Care or Limited Expense Health Care FSA. Think of it as a savings account that helps you pay for items that typically aren’t covered by your FEHB Plan, the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), or other health insurance coverage. FSAFEDS also offers an account for families with young children or elder care expenses — the Dependent Care FSA. This account allows you to set aside money to pay for your day care expenses. The minimum election for all accounts is just $100 and carryover has been adopted for health care and limited expense health care FSAs. For additional information, visit

Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

The FLTCIP provides long-term care insurance to help pay for costs of care when enrollees need help with activities they perform every day, or you have a severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer's disease. Most employees must be eligible for the FEHB Program in order to apply for coverage under the FLTCIP. It does not matter if they are actually enrolled in FEHB — eligibility is the key. Certain medical conditions, or a combination of conditions, will prevent some people from being approved for coverage. You must apply to find out if you are eligible to enroll. For additional information, visit:

Federal Employee Retirement System

Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) is the retirement plan for those entering federal service under a permanent appointment. FERS benefits are portable and allow employees to take an active role in securing their futures. FERS is a three-tiered plan comprised of the Basic Benefit Plan, the Social Security Benefit, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). FERS employees receive an automatic 1% DCSA contribution to the TSP starting immediately after entering duty. DCSA matches employee contributions dollar for dollar on the first 3% and 50-cents on the dollar for the next 2%, up to a total of 5% including the automatic 1%. For additional information, visit

Basic Benefit Plan

Establishes an annuity amount based on an employee's age, years of federal service as of the effective retirement date, and average highest salary attained over a 3-year consecutive period. After you retire, you will receive monthly annuity payments for the rest of your life. Disability benefits and benefits for survivors of federal employees and retirees are also provided.

Social Security Benefit

Payments made from the social security fund at retirement are based on an employee's age, type of benefit applied for, and earnings history from social security-covered wages.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan similar to 401(k) plans offered by private employers. Employees participating in the TSP can choose from several investment plans, including government securities, common stock funds, bond index funds, small capitalization stock, and international stock funds. You may elect to contribute any dollar amount or percentage (1 to 100) of your basic biweekly pay, but your annual dollar total cannot exceed the Internal Revenue Code's annual elective deferral limit. TSP accepts rollovers from other 401(k)/qualified retirement plans.

Fitness and Wellness Program

Employees with approved Civilian Fitness and Wellness Program (CFWP) agreements can schedule up to 1 hour per day and 3 hours per week of excused absence from duty to perform fitness activities at an approved fitness facility (including some on-site fitness facilities or outdoor fitness trails). CFWP excused absences can include needed travel time to and from the fitness facility.

Flexible Work Schedules and Telework

DCSA offers workplace flexibilities, including telework and several work schedule options, to improve work-life balance. Specific offerings are based on mission requirements and seek to enhance workforce efficiency and foster emergency preparedness.

Mass Transportation Benefit Programs (MTBP)

Eligible employees can enroll to receive a monthly transit pass subsidy or reimbursement for some or all of their commuting expenses. Employees within the National Capital Region (NCR) must apply through DoD’s MTBP Office in the Washington Headquarters Services (WHS). For more information visit: DCSA also has an MTBP program for employees who use mass transit outside of the NCR.

Incentive Awards and Recognition

DCSA's incentive and performance awards encourage and reward high productivity and innovation, as well as recognize special acts and service beyond the requirements of the job. Recognition includes cash awards, performance bonuses, performance pay increases, time-off awards, and honorary awards.

Employee and Leader Development

At DCSA, learning and development are the keys to employee success and mission accomplishment. DCSA is committed to improving workforce performance to advance the agency’s mission and strategic objectives through career-long learning. DCSA employees can expand their expertise through continuous learning opportunities, professional development and certification, leadership training, coaching, and other programs that ensure they continue to grow and develop professionally.