A quick question for all of you laboring in the private sector out there. When was the last time you got a cash bonus from your employer? I’m old enough to remember when a Christmas bonus wasn’t all that unusual if the company had a good year, but for many workers in the country that’s a thing of the past. US News & World Report published a study last year which cheerfully showed that quite a few employers were feeling generous, but they planned to offer “a bonus or gift” at the end of the year. But the ones offering cash predicted some rather paltry checks and the rest would receive “a gift.” (Enjoy your box of chocolates.) There were exceptions of course, such as those of you who happen to be Wall Street executives or traders, but for most of the hoi polloi the news wasn’t quite as joyous.

There is one exception to this trend, however. If you’re an executive or manager in the federal government you had a very good chance of getting a bonus in the $10K range or above. That’s right… federal workers are glad to see Santa coming because their stockings have been stuffed quite nicely. (Government Executive)

Slightly more senior executives across the federal government received bonuses in fiscal 2015 than in fiscal 2014, and on average individual awards increased by about $200 over that time, according to the latest data obtained by Government Executive.

Seventy-one percent of the government’s career senior executives earned bonuses based on their job performance in fiscal 2015, up 2.8 percentage points from fiscal 2014, the Office of Personnel Management reported. The average individual performance award for those top career employees in fiscal 2015 was $10,742, up from $10,544 in fiscal 2014, according to the data. The number of all Senior Executive Service members – career, non-career, and limited-term – receiving the highest job performance rating in fiscal 2015 also was up slightly, from 48.6 percent in fiscal 2014 to 49.7 percent.

Isn’t that both amazing and encouraging to hear? The federal government is performing so far above and beyond expectations that nearly half of all their executives (48.6%) received the highest possible job performance rating and were then eligible for the biggest cash bonus. And those bonuses were worth a lot more than the free mouse pad some of you will be getting at the holiday party. The average bonus was in excess of ten thousand dollars.

So how does that break down by department? Let’s all stop and consider what a great job the Justice Department is doing these days. (I’ll just let that sink in for a moment…) Well, career senior executives at Justice came in at the top of the heap with an average bonus of $14,748. Not everyone can be so lucky, though. I assume you’ve probably heard of the minor glitches we’ve been experiencing at the VA. They didn’t do quite as well, but still came in above the median, with 74% of Veterans Affairs senior executives receiving an average bonus of $10,024.

Are you kidding me? What could possibly have been going on at the VA during fiscal year 2015 which could lead anyone to believe that three quarters of their managers were doing such a bang up job that they needed a bonus equal to 20% of the annual pay received by the median American worker?

And finally, we wouldn’t want to forget the State Department, right? You know… the folks handling all those requests for Hillary Clinton’s emails? How were they rated?

The average performance award in fiscal 2015 for those career senior executives rated at the highest level (outstanding or equivalent) was $11,944. The percentage of career senior executives rated at the highest level varied widely across the government: For instance, the State Department rated 95.8 percent of its senior executives as outstanding or equivalent.

Holy cow! That’s simply amazing. The State Department is doing such an incredible job that more than 95% of their executives are “outstanding” in their performance. And they all received a nice, fat, five figure bonus as a reward.

Merry Christmas, voters. You may want to look into getting one of those government jobs for yourself. The average base pay for senior executives in the federal government was $170,582… not counting bonuses.

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