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June 2014 Benefits Newsletter

What's New?

1. Benefits Calendar Of Events

2. How Can I Confirm My Leave Bank Open Enrollment Membership Election?

Topics Of Interest:

3. Where Can I Find Information On Debt Collections And Garnishments?

4. Can I Name A Minor Child As The Beneficiary For My Life Insurance?

5. Will My Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Premiums Increase Over Time?

6. Employment And Income Verification – Use TALX – The Work Number®

7. Why Do I Need A myPay PIN And How Can I Get One?

8. Where Can I Find Information On Pay And Leave?

Where Do I Go If I Have Questions About My Benefits?

9. How Can I Get In Touch With My Benefits Contact?

10. Previous NIH Benefits Information – Did You Know? E-mails

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What's New?

1. Benefits Calendar of Events

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2. How Can I Confirm My Leave Bank Open Enrollment Membership Election?

If you enrolled in the Leave Bank during the fall open enrollment period (November 18 – December 31, 2013) or during the spring open enrollment period (May 1 – 30, 2014), you can confirm your membership election in ITAS.  Once you access ITAS, click on “Leave Bank Membership.”  If you are a Leave Bank member, the 2014 option will be checked and grayed out.

If you just enrolled during the recent spring open enrollment, your membership period will begin on June 29, 2014.  The membership contribution is one pay period’s worth of your annual leave accrual (i.e. 4, 6 or 8 hours).  Your contribution should be reflected on your Leave and Earnings Statement for the pay period ending July 12, and the pay date of July 18.  (Note:  If you are a recipient in the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program or if you do not have sufficient leave available, your membership contribution will be waived.)

Your enrollment in the Leave Bank will automatically continue each year, unless you take action during an open enrollment period to opt-out.  For each membership year, there is a membership contribution requirement. 

Leave Bank FAQs  and information on becoming a Leave Bank recipient can be found on the Leave Bank website.  Questions may be directed to the NIH Leave Bank Office at 301-443-8393 or LeaveBank@od.nih.gov.

 

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Topics Of Interest:

3.Where Can I Find Information On Debt Collections And Garnishments?

The processing and termination of debt collection and wage garnishment actions are the responsibility of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). You must deal directly with DFAS at 888-332-7411. The address is Garnishment Operations-HGA, P.O. Box 998002, Cleveland OH 44199-8002. Documents related to this subject may also be faxed to 216-522-6960.

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4.Can I Name A Minor Child As The Beneficiary For My Life Insurance?

Yes, you can name a minor child as your beneficiary.  However, the Office of Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) will not make a payment to the child while he/she is a minor.  When the beneficiary is a minor, OFEGLI adheres to certain guidelines (OPM).  If you wish to designate or change your beneficiary, you may do so at any time by completing a Designation of Beneficiary Form, SF 2823 (OPM).  After obtaining the signatures of two witnesses, submit your form to the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch in Bldg 31/Rm B3C23, MSC 2215.  For employees located at NIEHS, submit your form to Donna Fisher, Keystone Bldg/Room 1108.  If you do not file a designation form, OFEGLI will make payment based on the order of precedence (OPM) as set by law.  For further information, please get in touch with your Benefits Contact.

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5.Will My Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Premiums Increase Over Time?

Yes, they will increase.  The premium (OPM) for FEGLI Basic coverage is based upon your salary.  The premiums for Optional coverage, Option A (Standard), Option B (Additional), and Option C (Family), are based upon your age group and sometimes your salary.  The change in premiums resulting from age begins at age 35 and continues to increase in five year increments.  If you notice a change in your FEGLI premiums on your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), you should verify your cost by using the FEGLI calculator (OPM).  Please refer any questions to your Benefits Contact.

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6. Employment And Income Verification – Use TALX – The Work Number®

The Work Number®, is an automated system that provides proof of employment and income to verifiers. Workforce Solutions is widely known and used by over 50,000 entities including most major financial institutions, mortgage lenders, leasing companies, and private corporations to verify employment and income status of employees. The system provides a secure way for verifiers to obtain your employment information and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Before your information can be released to a verifier, you must give your authorization. NIH employees can use Workforce Solutions - The Work Number® in two easy steps:
1. Authorize the verification by completing the verifier’s (lender, bank, etc.) authorization form. When you try to access the system as an employee, you will be asked to enter a User ID and a PIN.

  • Your user ID is your full SSN
  • Your initial PIN is the last four digits of your SSN + full birth year (Example: 12341953)

Note: You will be prompted to enroll in the Enhanced Security or Risk Based Authentication. This is mandatory and must be completed in order to use the system.
2. Provide the verifier with:

  • Workforce Solutions –The Work Number® access options - www.theworknumber.com or 1-800-367-5690
  • HHS Employer Code: 14775
  • Salary Key (if needed) (A salary key is a six digit electronic signature created by the employee that is good for a one time use by a verifier)

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7. Why Do I Need A myPay PIN And How Can I Get One?

It is very important to have access to your myPay (DFAS) account so that you can view your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) each pay day to verify that the correct deductions are being withheld and that your leave balances on your LES match the balances in ITAS. You must also use myPay to make changes to your home address, TSP contributions, direct deposit of pay, allotments, Federal tax withholdings, and Open Season health benefits elections. Additionally, some state tax withholdings must be made via myPay (DFAS). If you move to or from Maryland, you must complete a state tax form for your new state and submit it to the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch (Bldg 31/Rm B3C23) for processing. However, for movement between other states and/or the District, you must use myPay (DFAS).

To access the system, you will need your Login and Password. If you have forgotten your Login or Password, click the “Forgot Your Login ID?” or “Forgot or Need a Password?” link on the left side of the myPay (DFAS) screen. Using this method, your Password can be e-mailed to you if you pre-registered your e-mail address, or it can be mailed to your current home address of record within 7 to 10 business days.

A second option for requesting a Password is to send a fax to 216-367-3549. You will need to include in your request your name, SSN, a daytime phone number, a copy of your NIH ID Card, and you must sign the fax. Upon receiving your fax, the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS) will reset your Password using a temporary Password. Your temporary Password will be 8 numbers, the last 4 numbers of your SSN twice. You will not receive a notice from DFAS that your Password has been reset. Simply wait at least two business days before logging into myPay (DFAS) to use your temporary Password. Upon logging in, you will be prompted to reset your Password. Information pertaining to establishing an acceptable Login and Password can be obtained at myPay FAQs (DFAS).

If you encounter problems with your Login and/or Password or technical issues using myPay (DFAS), contact the DFAS Centralized Customer Support Unit toll-free at 1-888-332-7411. This support line is available Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. They can provide assistance on how to use the options available to you in myPay. They will also provide support for establishing and changing your Login and/or Password.

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8. Where Can I Find Information On Pay And Leave?

You can find a wealth of pay and leave information on our website. Additionally, you can find information on the most frequently asked payroll questions.

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Where Do I Go If I Have Questions About My Benefits?

9. How Can I Get In Touch With My Benefits Contact?

Your contact in the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch will be able to help you with a variety of issues pertaining to the health and life insurance programs, designating beneficiaries, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), calculating your retirement annuity estimate, working with you to pay a redeposit for prior civilian service if you previously withdrew your retirement funds, paying a deposit for prior civilian or military service for which retirement deductions were not withheld, etc. To find your benefits contact, review our list of contacts. In addition, the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch (BPLB) website has an abundance of information regarding your Federal benefits. Don’t forget to check out the Benefits FAQs section.

Human resource topics not related to your benefits are normally handled by your Client Services Division HR Representative.

10. Previous NIH Benfits Information - Did You Know E-mails

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