NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- There are a bunch of jobs that offer good pay, great benefits and nearly unmatched retirement plans -- all putting you on-track for an early retirement. From white collar executive positions to blue collar get-your-hands-dirty jobs, there are all positions waiting to be filled by one massive employer – the government.
While you could apply – or even campaign – for a job on the local, county or state level, the plum assignments are often at the federal level. And don’t think you’ll necessarily be working cheap. According to Bureau of Labor statistics, on average U.S. federal workers garner higher salaries than the average private sector worker.
And it’s hard to beat the benefits. While pensions are all but gone in the private sector, replaced mostly by 401(k) plans, in a government job you get both. The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) offers an annuity that serves as your pension while the Thrift Savings Plan functions like a 401(k).
Working for Uncle Sam also means access to low-cost life insurance, paid vacations and sick leave, all accruing on the first day of work. And the government is trail blazing “phased retirement,” with some agencies offering flexible work arrangements and reduced work hours as employees transition to retirement while drawing current – and earning future -- retirement benefits.
Government positions enjoy a certain job security, too. No matter what the politicians say, the government isn’t really shrinking. While government’s share of the economy is smaller, for the most part, federal employment remains steady, with over 2 million civilian workers as of May 2013 – not counting contract workers or the postal service.