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April 2012 - Benefits Newsletter

What's New?

  1. Benefits Calendar of Events
  2. Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – TSP Roth Coming In May!

Topics Of Interest:

  1. What Is Temporary Continuation Of Coverage (TCC) Under The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program?
  2. What Are The Spouse Equity Provisions Under The FEHB Program?
  3. Is Your State Tax Withholding Correct?
  4. Review Your Leave And Earnings Statement (LES) Each Pay Day To Ensure Accuracy! It's Important!
  5. Why Do I Need A myPay PIN And How Can I Get One?
  6. 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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1. Benefits Calendar of Events

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2. Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – TSP Roth Coming In May!

The implementation date for the TSP Roth feature is May 7, 2012. Active Federal employees and members of the uniformed services will have the option to designate some or all of their contributions as Roth contributions. The TSP Roth feature will give participants flexibility in the tax treatment of their contributions. With Roth contributions, you pay taxes now. Electing Roth contributions is not an all or nothing decision. You can contribute to both Roth and traditional TSP  . Roth gives you the opportunity to diversify the tax treatment of the money in your account. To make your contribution allocation and/or interfund transfer , access your TSP account on the TSP website . You may want to consult a qualified tax or financial advisor to help you decide if Roth is for you.

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3. What Is Temporary Continuation Of Coverage (TCC) Under The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program?

TCC is available to: 1) employees who lose their FEHB Program coverage because they leave their Federal jobs; 2) children who lose their FEHB Program family member status because they reach age 26; and 3) former spouses who lose their FEHB Program family member status because of divorce or annulment. TCC allows former employees to continue their FEHB Program coverage for up to 18 months, and former family members (children and former spouses) to continue FEHB Program coverage for up to 36 months. For information about TCC, review the TCC pamphlet (OPM). For further information, please get in touch with your Benefits Contact.

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4. What Are The Spouse Equity Provisions Under The FEHB Program?

The Spouse Equity provisions (OPM) of law allow the former spouse of a Federal employee or annuitant to enroll in FEHB if he or she: 1) was covered under FEHB as a family member at some time during the 18 months before the marriage ended; 2) has not remarried before reaching age 55; and 3) has a qualifying court order (a court order that awards the former spouse a portion of the employee's or retiree's annuity benefit or a survivor benefit based on the employee's or retiree's Federal service). For information about Spouse Equity, review the FEHB Handbook (OPM). For further information, please get in touch with your Benefits Contact.

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5. Is Your State Tax Withholding Correct?

When was the last time you checked the tax withholdings on your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) for accuracy? Confirming that state taxes are being withheld for the correct state is extremely important. If you fail to make a state tax withholding election, the withholdings automatically default to the state of Maryland. An address change from one state to another completed in myPay does not automatically change your state tax withholding. 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 (BPLB), Bldg 31/Rm B3C23, for processing. However, for movement between other states and/or the District, you must use myPay (DFAS). You can access your Leave and Earnings Statement in myPay (DFAS) to view your withholdings. Should you discover taxes are being withheld for the wrong state, complete the appropriate state tax withholding form or use myPay as instructed above. Additionally, you should immediately notify BPLB, 301-496-2404, of the problem. With sufficient notification, withholding problems reported prior to the end of the calendar year can be corrected.

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6. Review Your Leave And Earnings Statement (LES) Each Pay Day To Ensure Accuracy! It's Important!

It is very important and your responsibility to review your LES each payday to ensure that proper deductions are being withheld. You can access your LES at anytime in myPay (DFAS). Should you discover a benefits withholding problem, notify your Benefits Contact immediately. For other withholding problems, contact your timekeeper or Administrative Officer for assistance. Your LES is available in myPay for only the past 26 pay periods. Once your LES has been removed through normal pay period updates, it cannot be regenerated. We recommend that you print or save the printer friendly version of your LES to a file or disk. This is very important should an audit become necessary.

If you want the added convenience of receiving an e-mail notification each pay period when your LES is available in myPay (DFAS), you only need to follow a few simple steps. First, you need to access your account in myPay (DFAS). Once in myPay, select E-mail Address. You must enter your Secure Personal E-mail Address twice and click on the primary button. Finally, click on accept/submit. You will be asked to confirm your information. That's all it takes! Each pay period you will receive an e-mail informing you once your LES is available.

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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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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

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