- Human Resources
Frederick County Government offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes:
County employees have a choice of 2 plans:
- CIGNA Open Access Plus In-Network (OAPin)
- CIGNA OAP High Deductible/HSA (OAPHD)
The Open Access Plus In-Network Plan offers benefits through a nationwide network of providers, but does not cover non-emergency services received from providers outside the network. The Open Access Plus High Deductible Health Plan, offers both in-network and non-network coverage after payment of a deductible, and is partnered with a Health Savings Account where pretax dollars contributed by the employee and the County may be saved for medical expenses.
If an employee wishes to enroll in one of these plans, he/she must complete the online enrollment within 30 days from his/her first date of employment or subsequent benefit eligibility. Medical insurance is effective on the first day of employment in an eligible status.
Under the OAPin plan, members receive care from participating providers in the national CIGNA Open Access Plus network. Care received from providers who do not participate in the network is not covered, except in the case of emergency. Referrals are not required to visit in-network specialists. There is a $20 co-pay for physician office visits. Inpatient hospital expenses are covered in full, after paying a $300 copay. Lab and other diagnostic tests are covered at 90% of the approved rate. Prescriptions are $10 for Generic, $30 for Preferred Brand, $50 for Non-Preferred Brand and $75 for Specialty prescription drugs at participating pharmacies. This plan also offers a mail order drug program, and coverage for a complete vision exam through CIGNA Vision.
The OAPHD plan is paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA) where you can make pre-tax contributions to help you pay for medical expenses before reaching the deductible or expenses that aren't by the plan. For plan year 20, the deductible for in-network providers is $1,400 /individual and $2,800/family. After meeting the deductible, expenses from in-network providers are generally covered at 90% and those from non-participating providers are covered at 80%. Prescription drug benefits are subject to the annual deductible, then pay the same as in the OAPin plan. Vision coverage (see above) is also included in this plan. The County makes a contribution to your HSA when you select this plan.
The county provides a Section 457 Deferred Compensation Program which is administered by Empower Retirement (formerly known as Great West Life and Annuity Insurance Company). All employees who earn compensation from the county are immediately eligible to participate in the 457 Plan. This allows participants to save for retirement now and pay taxes later by contributing a portion of their pre-tax earnings to the plan. Contributions are then invested, at the employee’s direction, into 1 or more of a variety of investment options. Currently, the plan offers a wide profile of asset classes ranging from conservative to aggressive.
There are also several fixed income funds with which participants may invest. Participants may defer up to the IRS maximum each year. The county does not offer any match on these funds. Eligible employees may enroll in this program at any time. You may also stop contributions at any time. Your contributions to the Plan and any earnings they generate are always 100% vested (including rollovers from previous employers).
What are the contribution limits?
The 2019 maximum annual contribution limit is 100% (1% per pay period minimum) of your
compensation or $19,000, whichever is less.
“Standard” Catch-Up allows participants in the three calendar years prior to normal retirement age to contribute more (up to double the annual contribution limit — $38,000). The amount that you may be able to contribute under the Standard Catch-Up option will depend upon the amounts that you were able to contribute in previous years but did not.
Participants turning age 50 or older in 2019 may contribute an additional $6,000. Please note that you may not
use the "Standard" catch-up provision and the Age 50+ catch-up provision in the same year.
Employees may select coverage from one of three dental plan options offered through CIGNA. Choose from the Cigna Dental Care - DHMO, the Basic Dental PPO, and the Enhanced Dental PPO plans. Receiving regular dental care can not only catch minor problems before they become major and expensive to treat - it may even help improve your overall health. Gum disease is increasingly being linked to complications for pre-term birth, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and other health issues.
If an employee wishes to enroll in one of these plans, he/she must complete the online enrollment within 30 days from his/her first date of employment or subsequent benefit eligibility. Insurance is in effect on the first day of the month that follows the completion of 30 days of employment in an eligible status.
Dependents may be covered until they reach age 26 without meeting a student status requirement.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow benefited county employees to set aside money, tax free, that can be used to pay for certain eligible expenses. Frederick County Government offers: a Health Care FSA and a Dependent Care FSA as well as a Limited Purpose FSA.
The Health Care FSA can be used to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care expenses for employees and their eligible dependents. The Dependent Care FSA can be used to pay for day care expenses for eligible dependents. The Limited Purpose FSA is only for dental and vision expenses if you participate in the High Deductible Health Plan. The IRS determines which expenses are eligible and which are not. This benefit plan runs on a calendar year (January 1 - December 31).
For calendar year 2019 the contributions limits are:
- Health Care and Limited Purpose FSA: $2,500
- Dependent Care FSA: $5,000
New employees can enroll in the FSA plan within their first 30 days of employment. Other employees can enroll during open enrollment, which usually occurs in November each year. All enrollments expire at the end of each calendar year. During open enrollment, all benefited employees must decide if they want to participate in the FSA plan for the upcoming calendar year.
Under IRS regulations, employees are now able to rollover up to $500 from one plan year into the next. This will allow participants an additional 12 months to spend the remaining balance. Funds that are rolled over will not affect election amounts for the new plan year. This applies only to Medical and Limited Purpose FSAs, not Dependent Care.
Regular full-time employees accrue leave as follows:
|Years of Service||Days per Year|
Effective August 1, 2015
All benefited county employees will receive 15 sick days per calendar year no matter the length of service. Part-time benefited employees will receive a proration of the 15 days. This is an increase from the previous accrual rate of either 10 or 12 days (depending on your service date) per year.
Sick leave may also be used for illness of an employee’s child, dependent, spouse, parent, or parent-in-law. There is no limit on the amount of sick leave accumulated. Unused sick leave may be used for additional credit in the pension plan at the time of retirement.
Extended Sick Leave
If a regular employee has an extended illness or an off-duty accident and has used all his/her accrued leave, application for extended sick leave benefits may be made. This benefit provides half-pay for up to 6 months in a 3 year period.
Sick Leave Donor
If a regular employee has exhausted all accrued leave and is facing an extended absence brought about by the illness, injury, or disability of the employee or a covered family member accrued leave may be donated directly by another regular county employee. This benefit allows an employee to receive donations equivalent to 30 workings days within 12 consecutive months.
A regular employee may be eligible to receive a total of 12 weeks of leave (paid or unpaid) during a 12 month period under certain conditions.
10 paid holidays are observed:
- New Year’s Day
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Friday following Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- General Election Days as they may occur
At the June 2, 2015 County Council meeting, a bill was passed to make changes to the county’s Personnel Rules. Effective August 1, 2015:
Benefited county employees will receive two floating holidays per calendar year. Floating holidays are pro-rated for benefited part-time employees. Floating holidays are available at the beginning of each calendar year, may be used in hourly increments or the entire day and must be taken as time off in the calendar year in which they are received. Floating holidays cannot be carried over to the next calendar year and will not be paid out upon termination from employment.
Any floating holiday time must be scheduled and approved in advance by the employee’s immediate supervisor and in accordance with department procedure.
Additional leave provided includes bereavement, jury, disability, and military leave.
(updated June 16, 2015)
The county provides term life insurance, equal to 2 times an employee’s annual base salary (or 4 times the annual base salary in the event of accidental death). Benefits are also paid to the county employee for loss of limb or sight due to an accidental injury. The county pays 100% of the premium for this insurance.
Beneficiaries are designated at the time of enrollment and may be changed at any time. The employee must submit the enrollment form within 30 days from his/her first date of employment.
The county also offers employees the opportunity to purchase supplemental life insurance for themselves, their spouse, and dependent children, all at the employee’s cost.
(updated November 27, 2006)
All certain eligible regular county employees* are required to participate in the Frederick County Employees Retirement Plan or the Frederick County Uniformed Employees Retirement Plan. These plans are Defined Benefit Plans and retirement benefits are payable at the employee’s normal, early or delayed retirement date. Retirement benefits might also be payable if the employee terminates employment or becomes disabled, or to the beneficiary in the event of the employee’s death. Each of these benefits is discussed in greater detail in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of the Frederick County Employees Retirement Plan or the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of the Frederick County Uniformed Employees Retirement Plan.
Outline of Major Benefits
Below is a brief outline of the major benefits provided through the plan for individuals hired on or after July 1, 2012. For more in-depth information, please refer to the SPD.
Note: *Employees hired to work for Frederick County Public Libraries are required to participate in the State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland instead of the Frederick County Employees Retirement Plan.
- Uniformed - 9%
- Non-Uniformed - 6%
Service Retirement Eligibility
- Age 55 with 5 years of eligibility service
- Any age with 25 years eligibility service
- Age 65 with 10 years of eligibility service
- Any age with 30 years of eligibility service
Service Retirement Benefit
- Uniformed - ((2.5% x Average 3 Highest Salary Years) x Years of Creditable Service up to 20); plus ((2.0% x Average Pay) x Years of Service in excess of 20 years, to a maximum of 8 years)
- Non-Uniformed - (1.67% x Average 3 Highest Salary Years) x Years of Creditable Service up to 36 years.
Vesting (Deferred Allowance)
- Uniformed - At least 5 years of eligibility service, benefit payments begin at age 55 based on service, salary and termination of employment
- Non-Uniformed - At least 10 years of eligibility service, benefit payments begin at age 65 based on service, salary and termination of employment.
Cost of Living Adjustment to Retirement Allowance
- Limited to 1% per year compounded annually.
Lump Sum Death Benefit
- Uniformed - If not vested, the beneficiary receives employee’s contributions in a lump sum payment.
- Non-Uniformed - If not vested, beneficiary receives employees’ contributions plus interest in a lump sum payment; and a payment of 1 times the employee’s annual budgeted salary.
Lifetime Annuity Death Benefit
- If vested, or if death occurs in the performance of duty, the beneficiary will receive a lifetime payment from the plan based on the calculation of either a line of duty or ordinary disability.
Note: In addition to the eligibility and creditable service the employee earns while working for Frederick County, he/she may, in some cases, receive additional credit for service under other governmental retirement systems; service with other governmental educational employers; approved leaves of absence; military service, or unused sick leave.
(updated June 2022)
The employee educational program was established for the mutual benefit of both Frederick County Government and the regular employee who has been employed by Frederick County Government for six months or more. Funding of the program is subject to the decision of the County Governing Body and it may be suspended/modified at any time.
Effective July 1, 2015, this program reimburses a) 75% of the cost of tuition, books, registration fees, charges per credit hour or similar charges for a regular employee who completes a pre-approved course from an accredited educational institution that improves the job-related knowledge or skills required for their current job or for a promotional opportunity to which the employee may reasonably expect to progress within Frederick County Government; or b) 50% of the aforementioned costs for non job-related courses that are required as part of a degree program, certificate or professional/technical accreditation program related to their current job or required for a promotional opportunity to which the employee may reasonably expect to progress within Frederick County Government.
Benefits are subject to the following conditions:
1. Reimbursement is limited to a) two (2) courses taken per semester and b) up to a maximum benefit of $3,000 per fiscal year.
2. Courses of study eligible under this program include credit and non-credit courses, on-line/home study courses, and proficiency examinations from an accredited educational institution.
3. Documentation of a grade of “C” or better or the numeric equivalent is required for reimbursement for all credit courses. Non-credit courses, on-line/home study courses, pass/fail courses, and proficiency examinations not subject to grading require a certificate or a letter from the college or institution verifying satisfactory completion.
4. Mileage allowances or other travel reimbursements are not considered eligible expenses in this program.
5. All requests for educational funds must be approved or disapproved by the Division Director concerned, and directed to the Director of Human Resources for final action PRIOR to the registration for the course.
(updated July 2015)
If you are enrolled in one of our medical plan options, some basic vision benefits are included. If decide not to enroll in medical coverage through the County or need additional coverage, such as glasses or contacts our VSP vision plan is available as a standalone plan at your cost. The plan provides comprehensive coverage when you visit a VSP provider.
If an employee wishes to enroll in this plan, he/she must complete the online enrollment within 30 days from his/her first date of employment or subsequent benefit eligibility. Insurance is in effect on the first day of the month that follows the completion of 30 days of employment in an eligible status.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The county’s EAP provides employees and their families with free confidential assistance to help in resolving problems that affect their personal lives and job performance. Additional information is available from the Frederick County Division of Human Resources.
All county employees may receive their net pay via direct deposit or on a pre-paid debit card.
Any regular county employee may elect to join the Nymeo Federal Credit Union.
Subsidized parking is available on a waiting list basis for the Winchester Hall parking lot and the Frederick city parking decks.
Frederick County provides full protection under the Worker’s Compensation laws of the State of Maryland.
To be sure of coverage under Worker’s Compensation insurance, each employee must immediately report any injury sustained to his/her supervisor who, in turn, contacts the Risk Management Department for proper action. Failure to report an injury may affect a claim for coverage.
Social Security benefits are provided for county employees through payroll deductions from employees and matching funds provided by the county.
Various wellness programs are offered by Frederick County Government to their employees; including informative seminars on nutrition, exercise, etc. Additional information is available from the Frederick County Division of Human Resources.
(updated October, 2015)