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July 2015 Benefits Newsletter

What's New?

  1. Benefits Calendar Of Events
  2. Add Your E-mail Address To Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Account!

Topics Of Interest:

  1. Five Principles For Managing And Growing Your Money
  2. Can I Name A Minor As The Beneficiary For My Life Insurance?
  3. How Is The Coverage Amount And Cost Determined For Life Insurance?
  4. Are Your Designation Of Beneficiary Forms Current?
  5. Employment And Income Verification – Use TALX – The Work Number ®
  6. Why Do I Need A myPay PIN And How Can I Get One?
  7. Where Can I Find Information On Pay And Leave?

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

  1. How Can I Get In Touch With My Benefits Contact?
  2. 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. Add Your E-Mail Address To Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Account!New “Self Plus One” Enrollment Option Under The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program

You may now add up to two email addresses and one phone number to your TSP account. If you do, the TSP will send you confirmation notices for certain on-line transactions, as well as other communications about your account. The TSP is always working to bring you an even better experience, and by providing your contact information you will help lay the groundwork for enhanced services in the future. To add an email address and/or phone number, log into My Account on the TSP website external link icon. From there, you can either follow the prompts or visit “Profile Settings: Contact Information.”

 

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Topics Of Interest

3. Five Principles For Managing And Growing Your Money

MyMoney.Gov external link icon outlines five key building blocks or principles for managing and growing your money. The MyMoney.Gov external link icon website is a product of the Congressionally chartered Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission, which is made up of more than 20 Federal entities that are coordinating and collaborating to strengthen financial capability and increase access to financial services for all Americans.

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

Yes, you can name a minor as your beneficiary. However, the Office of Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) will not make 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) external link icon. 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.

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5. How Is The Coverage Amount And Cost Determined For Life Insurance?

Your life insurance coverage amount will depend on the type of coverage you have. The Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program (OPM) offers Basic insurance coverage and three types of Optional coverage. The Basic insurance coverage amount is equal to your annual basic salary rounded up to the next even $1,000 plus an additional $2,000. Additionally, there is an extra benefit for employees under age 45. Option A (Standard) provides a flat coverage amount of $10,000. Option B (Additional) provides multiples of one to five times your annual basic salary, after rounding up to the next even $1,000. Option C (Family) is coverage for your spouse and unmarried dependent children under age 22. It provides one to five multiples of coverage. Each multiple is equal to $5,000 for your spouse and $2,500 for each of your eligible dependent children.

The cost for Basic insurance is shared between you and the Federal government. Your age does not affect the cost for Basic coverage. You pay the full cost for any Optional insurance and the cost depends on your age. The change in premiums (OPM) 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 the cost based on your salary and age. To determine the value and cost of your FEGLI, the easy use of the FEGLI calculator (OPM) external link icon can help. Please refer any questions to your Benefits Contact.

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6. Are Your Designation Of Beneficiary Forms Current?

When was the last time you checked your beneficiary designations? Many employees do not realize they have several benefits designations to keep current. These forms include designations of beneficiaries for unpaid compensation, life insurance, retirement (CSRS or FERS), and the Thrift Savings Plan, TSP-3. You should periodically review your designations to ensure they remain current. You may want to consider reviewing your designations each year during the annual Benefits Open Season. You may view designations for unpaid compensation, life insurance, and FERS in your electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF). However, the CSRS and TSP beneficiary forms are not filed in your eOPF. The CSRS beneficiary forms are kept on file with the Office of Personnel Management, and the TSP beneficiary forms are kept on file with the TSP Service Office.

Once you have completed and signed the form(s) and have had them signed by two witnesses, the unpaid compensation, life insurance, and the FERS forms should be forwarded to the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch, Bldg 31/Room B3C23. (Note: employees located in North Carolina may submit their forms to Donna Fisher, Keystone, Room 1108.) The CSRS and TSP forms should be mailed directly to the address indicated on each form. Please note that erasures, white-out, or cross-outs are not permitted on the designation forms. If you have questions, please notify your Benefits Contact.

If you die and do not have a designation on file, payments due will be distributed according to the established order of precedence upon your death. If you are satisfied with the normal order you do not need to file any designations. However, you may have an out-of-date designation on file. A designation will still be valid even if your relationship or family situation has changed. For instance, if you designated your spouse and you have since divorced, your former spouse is still your beneficiary unless you file a new Designation of Beneficiary Form, either canceling the previous one or designating someone else. Additionally, please know that the unpaid compensation designation form is no longer valid if you transfer to another Federal agency.

If you have questions about benefits, designations, or forms, please notify your Benefits Contact.

7. 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.

  1. Provide the verifier with:
    • Workforce Solutions –The Work Number® access options - www.theworknumber.com external link icon 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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8. Why Do I Need A myPay PIN And How Can I Get One?

It is very important to have access to your myPay external link icon (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 external link icon 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 external link icon (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 external link icon (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 external link icon (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 external link icon (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 external link icon (DFAS).

If you encounter problems with your Login and/or Password or technical issues using myPay external link icon (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 external link icon. They will also provide support for establishing and changing your Login and/or Password.

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9. 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?

10. 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 NIH-only access, 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 NIH-only access.

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11. Previous NIH Benefits Information - Did You Know E-mails

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