In many jurisdictions, one of the perks of working for the government is the promise of pension payouts on retirement. A pension is essentially a retirement plan that pays retired employees a portion of their standard paycheck every month from retirement until death. In many ways, it is a salary extension program that is designed to reward government employees for their lifetime of service. Pensions are often accompanied by extended health care and other benefits. A division of pensions and benefits is a government office that facilitates payouts to retirees, and helps retired employees manage their accounts and plan for their futures.
Pension and retirement benefits packages are a facet of most government employment contracts around the world. Typically government employees, whether at the national or local level, are invited to participate in the retirement programs by the applicable division of pensions and benefits shortly after they start work. The division of pensions and benefits is a government office in charge of maintaining employee paperwork, making sure that all employee participants retain their eligibility, and assuring that the payouts are made to retirees in compliance with governing law. It is also usually up to the division of pensions and benefits to make sure that there are adequate funds to make all of the required distributions.
Depending on the scope of the government employee force, managing all of the pension and benefits payouts can be an enormous task. Some countries' governments only have national-level employees. In larger countries like the United States, each state hires its own local government employees. A state benefits division usually handles local employees’ retirement benefits, while just one division usually handles the benefits owed to national-level employees.
State government employees typically include teachers, firemen, police officers, librarians, and municipal engineers, among others. National government employees include employees in any of a country’s national agencies, from receptionists to tax specialists, legislators, and government attorneys. Managing the retirement packages, distributions, and health care options for all of these thousands of people as they age is what keeps employees in any national or state pensions division busy.
Many pensions and benefits offices also offer counseling services in addition to facilitating payouts and distributions. These services can help retired employees find appropriate health care services, open investment accounts, or apply for pension loans. Anyone who is eligible for employer-funded retirement health care or pension benefits is usually eligible for counseling services and one-on-one help.
Private companies around the world have adopted similar pension and benefit schemes to reward lifetime employee service. While these benefits closely resemble government benefits, they are outside of the scope of a state or national division of pensions and benefits. Most of the time, companies that choose to offer pension and other benefits to retirees maintain an in-house division of pensions or division of benefits to handle these claims.