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    This position serves as the General Counsel at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC or Corporation), providing advice and counsel to the Director of PBGC in a fast-paced environment. The position reports to the Director and serves as Secretary to the Board of Directors, which is comprised of the Secretaries of Labor (Chairperson), Commerce, and Treasury.

    Learn more about this agency


    • Represent the Corporation in litigation concerning disputes over labor and employment, procurement, Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act matters, bankruptcy and matters related to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
    • Manage a staff composed of attorneys, professionals, and support staff in providing legal advice and conducting litigation in general support of the Corporation. Set goals, assign work, evaluate performance, and ensure staff has adequate resources.
    • Exercise authority over legal tasks of PBGC's ERISA functions including bankruptcy/legal actions; representing PBGC on matters before courts/administrative tribunals; communicating with underfunded plan sponsors; involvement in regulatory matters.
    • Review all proposed legal actions for the Director's approval, including commencement and disposition of litigation and decisions whether to appeal adverse rulings; promulgation of regulations; and legislative proposals.
    • Review all major and/or novel procurements.
    • Review the Corporation's financial reports to ensure legal requirements are met, recommending appropriate changes, and influencing adoption of changes or new methods of reporting required information.
    • Oversee the Corporation's Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO), providing key leadership to the Corporation's Ethics program, interpreting and providing guidance on program provisions and statutes.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - 10%

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

    0905 Attorney

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    Conditions Of Employment

    • You must be a U.S. citizen
    • You may undergo a personnel security background investigation
    • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt
    • 2 year trial period required unless met during prior Federal service
    • Applicants selected for employment will be required to complete an OF-306
    • 1 year supervisory probationary period required unless met during prior Federal service


    All qualification requirements must be met by the announcement closing date.

    SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Specialized experience is defined as at least one year of experience at the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service or equivalent to the GS-15 grade level in the private sector performing one or more of the following:

    • providing legal advice and counsel on legal issues involving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA);
    • providing legal advice and counsel on financial services and corporate transactions;
    • providing legal advice and counsel on administrative law matters;
    • providing legal advice and counsel related to pension, insurance or health plans; or
    • providing legal advice and counsel related to complex bankruptcy cases.

    Examples may include: experience as one of the top legal officers of a corporation or financial institution, as a seasoned lawyer in a law firm, or as a management-level lawyer in a comparable governmental organization.

    Selective Placement Factor: In addition, you must currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, a territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia.


    In order to qualify for this position, you must possess a J.D. degree from a school of law accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

    In addition to the education requirement, you must currently be a member in good standing of the bar of a State, a Territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia.

    Additional information

    PBGC encourages qualified applicants with disabilities to apply. Applicants with disabilities who are interested in learning more about job opportunities under the Schedule A Hiring Authority and other available hiring flexibilities and authorities are encouraged to contact PBGC’s Selective Placement Program Coordinator, Donald Beasley, at (202) 229-3637 or Beasley.donald@pbgc.gov. TTY/TDD users should call the federal relay service at (800) 877-8339 and ask to be connected to (800) 400-7242.

    All Veterans are encouraged to visit CareerOne for resume writing tips and skill conversion terms.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications.

    To preview questions please click here.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance


    Drug test required


    Position sensitivity and risk

    NCS/High Risk

    Trust determination process

    Credentialing, Suitability/Fitness

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    Required Documents

    RESUME: You must submit a resume. Your resume should clearly show your possession of the specialized experience and knowledge and skills so that we can determine your qualifications for this position. Your resume should be specific to the position you are applying for, relating your skills and experience to those noted in the job posting.

    COVER LETTER (OPTIONAL): Your cover letter should state your interest in this position and the strengths that you feel will make you an asset to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. We will not use your cover letter to determine your qualifications; however, your cover letter will go to the Selecting Official along with your resume if you are referred.

    VETERANS PREFERENCE: If claiming veteran's preference, you should indicate the type of veteran's preference you are claiming on your resume. For 5-point veteran's preference, you must provide a copy of your DD-214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Member 4 copy or Member 7 copy), official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty, or other official documentation (e.g. documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that proves your military service was performed under honorable conditions. Your DD-214 must show the type of discharge and dates of active duty.  If the appropriate copy of the DD-214 is not submitted and the discharge status is not confirmed, you will not receive credit for the claimed active duty military service. To gain access to your DD214 online, please visit: National Archives. For 10-point veteran's preference, including 30% or more disabled veterans, you must submit a SF-15 , Application for 10-point Veteran Preference and any documentation required by this form to support your claim. These documents must be submitted before 10-point preference can be awarded. If you fail to provide documentation required by the SF-15 you will receive 5-point preference if veterans' preference requirements have been met.  

    Veterans Opportunity to Work Act (VOW): If you are currently serving on active duty you MUST submit a statement  of service from your unit (on unit letterhead) identifying the branch of service, period(s) of service, campaign badges or expeditionary medals earned, type of discharge, character of service, and the date you will be separated or be on approved terminal leave. If you provide a statement of service at this stage, your preference/eligibility will be verified by a DD214 (Member 4 Copy) upon separation from the military.

    Information on Veterans Preference is available in the Vet's Guide that can be found at:Veterans Guide.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

    Visit Federal Employee Benefits for information on the major benefits offered.


    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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    How to Apply

    In order to be considered, submit all of the required information (including your supplemental documentation) before midnight EST on the closing date.  

    If you are not able to apply online or require reasonable accommodations, contact Brandy Pelham on (202) 229-3177 or Pelham.brandy@pbgc.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before the closing date of this vacancy announcement.   

    For TTY/TDD users, call the Federal Relay Service toll free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to (800) 400-7274.

    Please complete all the steps in the online application process at USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov).  You may make updates to your information at any time prior to midnight EST on the closing date of this announcement.

    *  Register with USAJOBS, which will store your information and resume. You will only need to complete this step once.
    *  Locate and review the vacancy announcement on USAJOBS. Click the Apply Online link and then select a resume to submit with your application.
    *  Click on Apply for this Position Now. You will be redirected to our online system.
    *  Complete or review your responses to the online core questions, which determine the types of positions you are eligible for.
    *  Specify which series and grade(s) you wish to be considered for.  
    *  Complete the online vacancy questions, then click "Finish". You will continue to the Vacancy Documents page.
    *  Submit each of the documents that apply to you by upload, USAJOBS, or fax according to the instructions provided.   
    * You will then see a summary of your application, including the documents that you submitted.  You are strongly encouraged to save or print a copy of this page as proof of submission and receipt of your application and documents.  Should we need to verify whether you did submit these in a timely manner, we will not be able to do so without this page.
    *  To finish, click "Finish."

    Agency contact information

    Brandy Pelham








    Human Resources Department
    1200 K Street, NW
    Suite 120
    Washington, District of Columbia 20005
    United States
    Learn more about this agency

    Are you looking for one of the top five Federal agencies to work for? Well look no further, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is ranked in the top five Best Places to Work for small agencies.

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has a distinguished and important mission -- protecting America’s pensions.

    We are counting on bright, talented and dedicated individuals to achieve our goals. You will be both challenged and supported, so if you are looking for new opportunities, consider PBGC and start making a difference today!

    The mission of the Office of General Counsel is to provide legal advice and counsel for the Director of PBGC and the corporation on all legal issues confronting the Corporation, particularly those involving ERISA and/or bankruptcy-related legal actions.

    Next steps

    You will receive confirmation that we have received your resume. Save this and any other receipts you receive via email or fax. We will inform you of the status of your application via the email address you provided in your registration.   

    You may check the status of your applications by clicking on the My USAJOBS tab at the USAJOBS website.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/558051300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.