b'Retirement accounts in private industry will be whatever has been negotiated, perhaps by a union, perhaps simply with senior employees. Each agency of the federal government offers its own retirement plan, based on longevity of service. In addition, the federal government provides investment options in the Thrift Savings Plan, which is the government equivalent of the best 401(K) plans available in the private sector. The federal government offers attractive medical insurance plans which can be continued into retirement. As a general rule, the federal government offers more job security than private industry. Having made a serious investment in you during the long application process, the government is reluctant to fire you, requires numerous steps to do so, and requires extensive grounds to undertake a separation from an employee. A private company, of course, can fire employees at whim, or down-size for any reason, or simply go out of business.18'