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June 2017 Benefits Newsletter

What's New?

  1. Benefits Calendar Of Events
  2. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Designation Of Beneficiary Form, TSP-3, Has Been Revised

Topics Of Interest:

  1. What Is Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) Under The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program?
  2. What Happens To My Benefits If I Resign From Federal Service?
  3. Are Your Deductions Accurate? Review Your Leave And Earnings Statement (LES To Find Out!
  4. Employment And Income Verification – Use TALX – The Work Number®
  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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What's New?

1. Benefits Calendar of Events

2. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Designation Of Beneficiary Form, Tsp-3, Has Been Revised

The TSP Designation of Beneficiary Form, Form TSP-3, was recently revised (May 2017).  This new version is now available for download from the TSP website in the Forms & Publications section.  If you choose to complete the Form TSP-3, submit it directly to the TSP address or fax number as indicated on the form.  If you already have a Form TSP-3 on file with the TSP, that form will remain in effect, unless you complete a new form.  You may update your beneficiary form at any time.
The revisions to Form TSP-3 are as follows:

  1. Only one witness signature is required. The same witness must sign and date all pages of the form including all copies made for additional primary and contingent beneficiaries.
  2. The form now allows for up to 8 primary beneficiaries. Page 1 of the form now allows for up to 3 primary beneficiaries. Page 2 of the form provides space for an additional 5 beneficiaries. Copies of a blank page 2, “Primary Beneficiaries,” can be made if the participant wishes to designate more than 8 primary beneficiaries.
  3. Page 3 of the form now allows for up to 4 contingent beneficiaries. Copies of a blank page 3, “Contingent Beneficiaries,” can be made if the participant wishes to designate more than 4 contingent beneficiaries.
  4. TSP has made the address fields for the primary and contingent beneficiaries free-form for ease of completing the form.
  5. The new form emphasizes that participants who would like their TSP accounts to be distributed according to the statutory order of precedence should not complete the TSP-3.

Questions may be directed to your Benefits Contact.


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Topics Of Interest

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 children and former spouses to continue FEHB Program coverage for up to 36 months. For information about TCC, review the TCC pamphlet. For further information, please get in touch with your Benefits Contact.

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4. What Happens To My Benefits If I Resign From Federal Service?

For information (CSRS and FERS) on what happens to your benefits upon separation, visit the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch’s website.  Should you have any questions, please notify your Benefits Contact.

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5. Are Your Deductions Accurate? Review Your Leave And Earnings Statement (LES) To Find Out!

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 any time 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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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.

  1. Provide the verifier with:

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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 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 . 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 .

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 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 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 .

If you encounter problems with your Login and/or Password or technical issues using myPay , 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 NIH Only, 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.

10. Previous NIH Benefits Information – Did You Know? E-mails

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