September 2011 - Benefits Newsletter
Topics Of Interest:
- A Reminder Regarding Unsolicited Contacts By Outside Vendors!
- Check Out MYMONEY.GOV!
- If I Get Married Or Have A Child, What Changes Can I Make To My Benefits?
- Can I Have Dual Enrollments In The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program?
- How Is The Coverage Amount And Premiums Determined For My Life Insurance?
- Why Do I Need A myPay PIN And How Can I Get One?
- Where Can I Find Information On Pay And Leave?
Where Do I Go If I Have Questions About My Benefits?
1. Benefits Calendar of Events
2. A Reminder Regarding Unsolicited Contacts By Outside Vendors!
Recently, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) has been notified that a number of NIH employees have received unsolicited calls from a financial planning company. The caller is offering to meet to discuss benefits. This company is implying they have endorsements from NIH and/or the Federal Government in an attempt to target employees as clients. As a reminder, the of the OHR administers the Federal benefits program for NIH. It is not the practice of OHR to contact employees in any manner to sell financial planning information. We have no connection with, or responsibility for, any "supplemental" financial planner. Our branch does not use sales agents or telephone solicitations of any kind. All Federal employees are free to pursue financial planning with outside sources and are encouraged to comparison-shop. However, employees should not be misled into believing the provider is sponsored by NIH. Should you have any questions or concerns, please notify your Benefits Contact.
3. Check Out MYMONEY.GOV!
MyMoney.gov is the U.S. Government's website dedicated to teaching the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 Federal agencies and bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.
4. If I Get Married Or Have A Child, What Changes Can I Make To My Benefits?
If you already have a self and family enrollment under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program and you wish to continue with the same health plan, you should contact your health plan directly to have the name of your new family member added. If you do not have a self and family enrollment or you want to switch plans, complete a Health Benefits Election Form, SF-2809 . Your completed SF-2809 must be received in the Benefits & Payroll Liaison Branch (BPLB) within 31 days prior to the date of the change in family status or within 60 days afterwards. If you are adding a spouse and want the coverage effective on the date of the marriage, you must submit your SF-2809 the pay period prior to the anticipated date of the marriage. If you are adding a child, the effective date of your coverage is the first day of the pay period in which the child becomes a family member. As supporting documentation, you must provide a copy of your marriage certificate or your child's birth certificate as appropriate. Please note that the certificates may follow the submission of the SF-2809 .
If you already have Basic coverage under the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program , you may elect Options A, B, and/or Option C or increase your multiples of Option B and/or Option C by completing a Life Insurance Election form, SF-2817 . If you are not enrolled in the program, you may elect Basic, plus any or all Optional insurance. Your completed SF-2817 must be received in the BPLB within 60 calendar days after the change in family status. You must also provide a copy of your marriage certificate or your child's birth certificate. For additional information, speak with your Benefits Contact.
If you already have supplemental dental and/or vision coverage and want to add your spouse or child, contact BENEFEDS at 1-877-888-FEDS within 31 days before or 60 days after the date of the change in family status. To enroll or increase the amount of your Flexible Spending Account , contact SHPS at 1-877-FSA-FEDS within 31 days before or 60 days after the date of the change in family status. To apply for Long Term Care Insurance , contact the LTC Partners at 1-800-LTC-FEDS.
You may complete designation of beneficiary forms at anytime. If you have already filed designation forms, make sure they are up to date. You may view some of your forms on-line by accessing your electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) . Designation of beneficiary forms may be completed for unpaid compensation , life insurance , retirement (CSRS or FERS ), and the Thrift Savings Plan . You must have your beneficiary forms signed by two witnesses prior to submitting them. Please note that a witness is not eligible to receive payment as a beneficiary. The unpaid compensation, life insurance, and the FERS forms should be forward to the BPLB. The CSRS and TSP forms should be mailed directly to the address indicated on each form. If you are satisfied with the Order of Precedence (OPM) as set by law, you do not need to file designations.
The Benefits & Payroll Liaison Branch (BPLB) is located at 31 Center Drive, Bldg 31, Rm B3C23, MSC 2215, Bethesda, MD 20892-2215. (Note: NIEHS employees located in North Carolina should submit their forms to Donna Fisher, MSC K1-01, Rm 1108, 530 Davis Drive.) If you have questions, please notify your Benefits Contact.
5. Can I Have Dual Enrollments In The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program?
No. Dual enrollment in FEHB is prohibited (OPM) , except under very limited circumstances. Dual enrollment is when you or an eligible family member covered under your "self and family" enrollment is also covered under another FEHB enrollment. For circumstances where dual enrollment is allowed, it must be authorized by the Benefits & Payroll Liaison Branch and will only be allowed when you or an eligible family member would otherwise lose coverage. For further information, please get in touch with the Benefits Contact for your IC.
6. How Is The Coverage Amount And Premiums Determined For My Life Insurance?
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 begin at age 35 and continue to increase in five year increments. If you notice a change in your FEGLI premiums on your Leave and Earnings Statement, 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) can help. Please refer any questions to your Benefits Contact.
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, and Federal tax withholdings. 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 Payroll Liaison Team (Bldg 31/Rm B3C23) for processing. However, for movement between other states and/or the District, you must use myPay (DFAS). Additionally, all open season health insurance elections must be accomplished using 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.
8. Where Can I Find Information On Pay And Leave?
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 a wealth 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.