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June 2012 - Benefits Newsletter

What's New?

  1. Benefits Calendar of Events
  2. Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Roth Delayed -- Coming In July!
  3. Smart Card Login Will be Required To Access ITAS Beginning On June 18!
  4. TSP – Computer Hacking Incident Reported!

Topics Of Interest:

  1. What Happens To My Child’s Health Insurance Coverage When He/She Turns Age 26?
  2. What Happens To My Child’s Life Insurance Coverage When He/She Turns Age 22?
  3. Is There a Limit On How Often I Can Change My Allotments?
  4. Why Do I Need A myPay PIN And How Can I Get One?
  5. 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) Roth Delayed -- Coming In July!

The implementation date for the TSP Roth has been delayed for DHHS.  The Defense Finance and Accounting Service has announced a system implementation date of July 1, 2012, which will allow employees to make their election in myPay.  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 Adobe PDF icon External Web Site Disclaimer 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 Adobe PDF icon External Web Site Disclaimer.  Roth gives you the opportunity to diversify the tax treatment of the money in your account.  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. Smart Card Login Will be Required To Access ITAS Beginning On June 18!

Smart card login means logging in with an HHS ID Badge (PIV) and Personal Identification Number (PIN) instead of with your username and password. This is part of the implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), a Government-wide initiative to improve security and protect our facilities and information assets.  You should take the following steps to get ready:

Make sure you have a smart card reader - Your smart card reader may be built into your keyboard or the side of your laptop, or it may be an external reader that connects through a USB port.  If you need a smart card reader, please contact the NIH IT Service Desk at 301-496-4357 or submit a ticket online External Web Site Disclaimer

Make sure you know your PIN - If you have forgotten the six or eight-digit PIN for your HHS ID Badge, you can reset it at a Lifecycle Workstation (LWS) by visiting an LWS Operator External Web Site Disclaimer near you. 

Test your smart card login with your HHS ID Badge and PIN - You can try logging into ITAS with your PIV by inserting it into your smart card reader and clicking “Log in” on the right side of the ITAS login page.  You can also try smart card login on the  If you have a smart card reader and know your PIN but cannot successfully log in, please contact NIH IT Service Desk at 301-496-4357 or submit a ticket online External Web Site Disclaimer.

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4. TSP – Computer Hacking Incident Reported!

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) announced External Web Site Disclaimer  on May 25 that a computer belonging to a third party service provider suffered a cyber attack that resulted in the unauthorized access of the personal information of approximately 123,000 TSP participants or other TSP recipients. However, there has been no indication that any of the data has been misused.  Notification letters have been mailed out to all affected individuals offering information on how to contact a call center that has been established and offering services such as credit monitoring.  In addition, the FRTIB will place alerts on the affected TSP accounts to ensure that account activity receives close scrutiny.

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5. What Happens To My Child’s Health Insurance Coverage When He/She Turns Age 26?

When your child reaches age 26, he or she is no longer eligible to be covered under your health benefits enrollment.  If your child is no longer eligible for coverage and was your only covered family member, you must submit an election form to your Benefits Contact to change your enrollment to “Self Only.”  The change is not automatic.

You have 60 days from the date your child turns age 26 to notify your Benefits Contact. He/she eHewill give you information on how your child may enroll in his/her own right for Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) External Web Site Disclaimer (OPM).  The TCC enrollment can be for up to 36 months and the child will have to pay the full premium (no Government contribution), plus a 2% administrative charge. TCC enrollments are also available to you (coverage for up to 18 months) should you leave the Government and for a former spouse should you get divorced (coverage for up to 36 months). All TCC enrollments must be submitted within 60 days of the event allowing the enrollment.

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6. What Happens To My Child’s Life Insurance Coverage When He/She Turns Age 22?

When your child reaches age 22 (or marries before age 22) he or she is no longer eligible to be covered under your life insurance family enrollment. This is true even if your child is still in school.  If your child is no longer eligible for coverage and was your only covered family member, you must submit an election form to your Benefits Contact to cancel the Option C-Family coverage.  The change is not automatic.

To determine if you have Option C-Family, review your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) or your Leave and Earnings Statement in myPay External Web Site Disclaimer (DFAS). If your two-digit Life Insurance code ends in number 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, then you are carrying Option C.  Loss of coverage due to marriage or reaching age 22 does not afford one the opportunity to convert Option C to an individual policy.  If you have specific questions, please notify your Benefits Contact.

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

Yes. You should limit changes to only one transaction per pay period.  When you attempt to make multiple transactions during the same pay period, all transactions entered that period are cancelled.  To start, stop, or change an allotment, you must use myPay External Web Site Disclaimer (DFAS).

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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 Web Site Disclaimer (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 External Web Site Disclaimer (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 Web Site Disclaimer (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 Web Site Disclaimer (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 Web Site Disclaimer (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 Web Site Disclaimer (DFAS). 

If you encounter problems with your Login and/or Password or technical issues using myPay External Web Site Disclaimer (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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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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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, 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 External Web Site Disclaimer.

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11. Previous "NIH Benefits Information - Did You Know?"

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