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International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Headquarters 1: 700 19th St. NW
Washington, DC 20431
Headquarters 2: 1900 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20431
Employees: 2,500
Managing Director: Christine Lagarde


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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) works to foster international monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. The IMF has a key position in promoting the health of the world economy.

To maintain stability and prevent crises in the international monetary system, the IMF conducts surveillance of national, regional, and global economic and financial developments. It provides advice to its 187 member countries, encouraging them to adopt policies that foster economic stability, reduce their vulnerability to economic and financial crises, and raise living standards. The IMF also serves as a forum where its global membership can discuss the national, regional, and global consequences of their policies.

The IMF also makes financing temporarily available to member countries to help them address balance of payments problems—that is, when they find themselves short of foreign exchange to meet their payments to other countries. The countries that were biggest borrowers from the IMF as of 1/31/11 were: Romania, Ukraine, Greece.

The IMF has $340 billion in loans available from member countries with an additional $600 billion in commitments.

There are 187 countries that are members of the IMF and the organization is accountable to the governments of these countries.

The IMF has a staff of 2,500 from 160 countries.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned his position as Managing Director of the IMF in May after being accused of assaulting a hotel maid in New York City. Christine Lagarde was named the new Managing Director on July 5, 2011 for a period of five years.

The day-to-day work of the IMF is conducted by its 24-member Executive Board, which represents the entire membership.


The IMF, also known as the “Fund,” was conceived at a United Nations conference convened in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, in July 1944. The 44 governments represented at that conference sought to build a framework for economic cooperation that would avoid a repetition of the vicious circle of competitive devaluations that had contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

IMF began operations on March 1, 1947.


The IMF's compensation system seeks to ensure competitiveness in the market sectors in which the Fund competes for staff, and effectiveness in supporting the recruitment and retention of a diverse, multinational staff meeting the highest standards of quality and professionalism. It is also structured and administered in a way that provides effective incentives for high standards of performance and ensures internal equity and consistency.

Positions in the Fund are evaluated and grouped into 19 job grades so that positions with broadly similar job content are placed in the same grade, and positions in each successively higher grade have progressively greater duties and responsibilities. The 19 grades are identified as Grades A1-A15 and Grades B1-B5. Grades A1-A8 comprise support staff positions; Grades A9-A15 are professional positions; and Grades B1-B5 cover senior staff positions with managerial responsibilities.

The Medical Benefits Plan (MBP) provides coverage to Fund employees (including Executive Directors and their staff), their dependents and retirees. As a new staff member on a regular or contractual appointment, you are eligible to enroll for coverage in the MBP from your entry-on-duty date. The plan covers you, your spouse or registered domestic partner, and your eligible dependents at all times and anywhere in the world. Aetna Global Benefits administers all benefits for MBP participants living in the U.S., including medical, dental and prescription drug benefits. MBP benefits for participants living outside the U.S. are administered by Vanbreda International. There is also short-term coverage for prospective staff who have signed a letter of appointment but have yet to start employment for 31 days.



The IMF's Staff Retirement Plan (SRP) is designed to provide replacement income to allow you to maintain a reasonable standard of living during retirement. Participation in the plan is mandatory for staff on open-ended appointments and optional for staff on fixed- or limited-term appointments for a period of two or more years. The SRP is a contributory defined benefit plan, meaning that you must contribute as a condition of participation. At your separation from the Fund, the plan provides you with either a lifetime pension annuity (with cost-of-living adjustments) or a lump-sum withdrawal benefit, depending on your age and years of service. Other benefits such as death benefits, disability pensions and childrens' benefits are also part of the plan. Lifetime pensions are payable starting at age 50 with a minimum of three years of service. The normal retirement age is 62 and any pensions starting earlier are subject to early retirement penalties. The benefits payable are governed by the provisions of the plan and are not directly linked to the accumulated value of contributions made to the plan by the staff or the Fund.

The IMF's Contractual Retirement Plan is a pre-tax savings plan with employer contribution (401K). It allows eligible contractual employees to save for their retirement by payroll deduction. All participants with one year of continuous service receive contributions from the Fund equal to 5 percent of their salary regardless of their own contributions. You are vested immediately and may choose to invest the money in your CERP account among a variety of investment options.

As a Fund staff member, you will accrue annual leave to cover absences from work for vacation, rest, relaxation, recuperation and when other types of leave are not applicable. The rate at which your leave accrues depends on your length of service:

  • 5 years – 26 days per year
  • 5 – 10 years – 28 days per year
  • 10+ years – 30 days per year

Fund staff are credited with 15 days of sick leave on May 1 of each year. Unused sick leave may be carried forward from one year to the next, but is not reiumbursible when leaving the Fund. Extended sick leave may be authorized in the event of a serious illness.

IMF offers Federal Credit Union, Fitness Center and the Bretton Woods Recreation Center near Germantown, MD with 280 acres of outdoor activities for employees and their families.

Updated July 23, 2011

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