At the Smithsonian we realize our staff is the source for the creative energy that produces world class exhibitions, programs and research. A supportive work environment is a key factor in establishing an atmosphere where employees can flourish. The Smithsonian has taken a comprehensive approach in designing insurance policies, benefits and programs that focus on a healthy work / life balance.
Federal and Trust employees have different, but similar, insurance and retirement programs.
Insurance premiums can be deducted on a pre tax basis. Deducting premiums pre-tax generally results in lower taxes and more take home pay.
- Health - Various health plans that provide options that are right for you and your family. The Smithsonian pays a portion of health insurance premiums.
- Life - Federal employees are eligible to participate in Federal Employee Group Life Insurance program. Trust employees term life insurance is based on one times annual salary with options for supplemental coverage up to five times annual salary at a low cost.
- Vision - A voluntary program providing coverage for annual eye exams plus coverage for glasses or contacts at low cost.
- Dental - A voluntary program providing coverage for preventive and restorative dental care at low cost.
- Long Term Disability (Trust employees only) - If you are unable to work after 180 days of disability the Smithsonian provides coverage of up to 60% of your monthly base pay.
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment - A voluntary plan for you and family members which provides benefits in case of accidental death or accidental dismemberment (i.e. loss of a limb).
- Business travel - Provides coverage for employees traveling on Smithsonian business.
- Long term care (Federal employees only) - A voluntary plan which provides coverage in the event long term care is needed (see www.ltcfeds.org)
- Flexible Spending Accounts - A voluntary program that allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for qualifying medical and dependent care expenses.
|Years of Service||Hours accrued per pay period|
|0-3||4hrs (13 days)|
|3-15||6hrs ( 20 days)|
|15+||8 hrs (26 days)|
Employees may accrue and carry over from year to year up to 240 hours of annual leave.
New employees may be granted a higher accrual based on their related experience prior to joining the Smithsonian.
Sick Leave – All employees accrue 4 hours per pay period with unlimited accruals
Holidays – The Smithsonian celebrates 10 paid holidays
- New Year's Day (January 1).
- Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Third Monday in January).
- Washington's Birthday (Third Monday in February).
- Memorial Day (Last Monday in May).
- Independence Day (July 4).
- Labor Day (First Monday in September).
- Columbus Day (Second Monday in October).
- Veterans Day (November 11).
- Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November).
- Christmas Day (December 25).
Presidential Inauguration Day every 4 years is also a recognized holiday in the Washington DC Metro area.
Retirement – Trust employees can enroll in the TIAA-Cref , a 403B retirement plan, featuring generous SI contributions and the opportunity for the employee to contribute in pretax dollars to mutual funds and annuities. The plan is fully vested from the date of enrollment. Employees 35 years or older or with 2 years of continuous Trust employment are eligible.
Federal employees are generally enrolled in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) that combines social security, a basic benefit plan with a small employee contribution and a Smithsonian contribution to an employee investment account (Thrift Savings Plan - TSP). Employees may contribute pretax dollars to the TSP.
Work Life and Family Programs
Pre Tax Commuter Benefit Program and SI Transit Subsidy Program – Programs which allow for pre-tax dollars to be used to pay for eligible commuting and/or parking expenses to and from an employees work duty station. In the National Capital Region, the SI Transit Subsidy Program provides for up to $230 per month to pay for expenses to and from an employees work duty station. To qualify, your work duty station must be in the National Capital Region.
Credit Union – The Department of Agriculture Federal Credit Union, with which the Institution has affiliated, maintains a branch office in the Smithsonian Castle.
Discounts – Employees receive a 20% discount in Smithsonian museum shops and restaurants. Employees may also obtain a complimentary ticket to IMAX films and Planetarium shows.
Employee Assistance Program – The EAP Office offers free confidential evaluation, referral and counseling services to employees with work-related or personal problems. They also produce lunchtime seminars on a variety of lifestyle and workplace issues.
Employee affinity groups – The Smithsonian has active African American, Latino, Asian American and Gay and Lesbian employee groups. Members work with Smithsonian management on issues regarding their groups concerns, support diversity and inform local and national communities of Smithsonian resources and activities. Members are also active in producing heritage month festivals.
Professional interest groups and committees - Professional interest groups provide the opportunity to meet with colleagues from around the Smithsonian campus, exchange information and ideas, make recommendations and develop collaborative projects. There are organizations for most professional groups (scientists, scholars, educators, training, administrators etc.) as well as committees to guide special projects that have Institution wide impact (collections systems, digitization etc.)
Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) – Our award winning early enrichment program serves children between the ages of 3 months and 6 years through its child development center, preschool program and kindergarten.
Family Friendly Leave – In cases where an employee must take time off for the birth or care of the employee’s child or care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, the program offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave or in certain cases the substitution of annual or sick leave.
Occupational Health Services – Our Occupational Health Services Office, staffed by specialized medical professionals including physicians, occupational health nurses, and medical technicians, provides occupational health services, emergency response and first aid services to Smithsonian employees. Services include administration of treatments/medications prescribed by private physicians, lunchtime lectures on health issues, annual flu shots, and counsel regarding health information and referrals.
Flexible work schedule – Many departments offer the opportunity for a flexible workday allowing employees to create their own schedule around core workday hours. There is also the opportunity for alternative work schedules.
Lectures / Events – Employees are encouraged to take advantage of all the Smithsonian offers. Smithsonian museums and research centers offer a rich program of free lectures during the day, lunchtime and evenings. The Smithsonian Community Committee, a volunteer group, presents tours, events (juried employee art and photo shows) and presentations during the workday, exclusively for employees. The Smithsonian also hosts an annual all employee picnic on the National Mall in July (held in conjunction with the annual Folklife Festival), as well as an annual all employee holiday party held in December.