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2014 Benefits Newsletter

What's New?

1. Benefits Calendar Of Events

2. Spring Open Enrollment For The NIH Voluntary Leave Bank – Become A 2014 Member!

3. Take the NIH Leave Bank Survey Now – It Closes On April 18!

Topics Of Interest:

4. Five Principles For Managing And Growing Your Money

5. Tips On Managing Someone Else’s Money

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. Spring Open Enrollment For The NIH Voluntary Leave Bank – Become A 2014 Member!

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) is pleased to announce a second open enrollment period for the NIH Voluntary Leave Bank.  If you missed the first open enrollment, this is your chance to become a 2014 member.  Don’t miss this final opportunity!  Enrollment in the Leave Bank is open to all NIH Federal employees.  The open enrollment period will run May 1 –30, 2014.  The membership period will begin on June 29, 2014.

To elect to become a member for the 2014 membership period, access the Integrated Time and Attendance System (ITAS) during the open enrollment and enroll under “Leave Bank Membership.” The membership contribution is one pay period’s worth of annual leave accrual.  Once you become a member, you will automatically be enrolled the following year, unless you take action during an open enrollment period to opt-out.  For each membership year, there is a membership contribution requirement.

The Leave Bank is a pooled bank of donated annual and restored leave, available to members experiencing medical emergencies.  It offers income protection by granting paid leave to eligible members who have exhausted all of their leave and are affected by a personal or family medical emergency/condition.

The Leave Bank is distinguished from the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) in that the bank is a depository of leave, and leave is distributed to members who are approved to be leave recipients, while the VLTP requires a direct donation from a donor to a recipient.  Some advantages of the Leave Bank are that eligible members may receive leave from the bank to cover time out of the office without awaiting donations and the Leave Bank is confidential. 

To view a list of upcoming Leave Bank events, check out our calendar.  The events are free and no registration is required.  Make plans to join us!

Frequently Asked Questions and additional information about this exciting benefit can be found on the NIH 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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3. Take The NIH Leave Bank Survey Now – It Closes On April 18!

The NIH Leave Bank Office is committed to serving NIH Federal employees.  To help us assess marketing needs to better serve our customers, we invite you to complete a brief Leave Bank Survey.  Your responses will provide us with important feedback for use during the Leave Bank Spring Open Enrollment, May 1 – 30, 2014.  The survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete.  Current and potential Leave Bank members are the target audience.  If you have any difficulty accessing the survey, please contact Lillian Thomas for technical support at thomaslm@mail.nih.gov or 301-594-0924.  Please note that the survey closes on April 18, 2014.  

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Topics of Interest

4. Five Principles For Managing And Growing Your Money

MyMoney.Gov outlines five key building blocks or principles for managing and growing your money.  The MyMoney.Gov 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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5. Tips On Managing Someone Else’s Money

The Consumer Financial Protection Board released four easy-to-understand booklets to help financial caregivers who are managing money or property for a loved one who is unable to pay bills or make financial decisions on his/her own. The guides are for representatives under powers of attorney, court-appointed guardians, trustees, and government fiduciaries (Social Security representative payees and VA fiduciaries).  The guides walk you through your duties, tell you how to watch for scams, and direct you where you can go for help. 

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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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