Skip Navigation

July 2017 Benefits Newsletter

What's New?

  1. Benefits Calendar Of Events

Topics Of Interest:

  1. When Entering Elections Into myPay – Be Certain To Check Your Entry Before Submitting It!
  2. Are You Contributing To The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)?  If So, Review Your Leave And Earnings Statement (LES) To Confirm Your Deductions Are Correct!
  3. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – Know The Facts!
  4. Important Benefits Reminders For Administrative Officers
  5. Is Your State Tax Withholding Correct?
  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?

  1. How Can I Get In Touch With My Benefits Contact?
  2. Previous NIH Benefits Information – Did You Know? E-mails

Back to top

What's New?

1. Benefits Calendar of Events

Topics Of Interest

2. When Entering Elections Into myPay – Be Certain To Check Your Entry Before Submitting It!

myPay external link icon is the self-service system that allows you to make a number of employee elections, such as 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 link icon.  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 link icon.  When entering elections into myPay, carefully read the important information contained on the entry pages.

For TSP elections, be certain to enter the amount into myPay external link icon that you want withheld from your pay each pay period.   Also, be certain to carefully indicate whether you want to make Traditional or Roth contributions.  It is very important that you enter your elections accurately because the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch cannot stop or change elections that you have entered into myPay.  After a TSP election is entered into myPay external link icon, it will be effective at the beginning of the next pay period.  It will take 1-2 pay periods before it is visible in myPay external link icon and on your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES).  Only one regular TSP election and one TSP Catch-up election can be entered into myPay during a pay period.

Back to top

3. Are You Contributing To The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)?  If So, Review Your Leave And Earnings Statement To Confirm Your Deductions Are Correct!

If you are contributing to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), it is important that you review your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) regularly to confirm that your deductions are correct.  You can access your LES in myPay external link icon.  If you wish to change your TSP deductions, you must also use myPay external link icon

The 2017 IRS annual limit for regular TSP contributionspdf icon external link icon is $18,000.  If you are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you could lose valuable matching Agency TSP contributions by reaching the limit before the end of the calendar year.  If you need to adjust your election amount, use the Elective Deferral Calculator external link icon on the TSP website external link icon  to determine the adjusted amount.  There are 26 pay days in 2017.   Be certain to enter the amount into myPay external link icon that you want withheld from your pay each pay period.  Please note that a regular TSP election will automatically continue from one calendar year into the next. 

In addition to regular TSP contributions, you may also make TSP Catch-up contributionspdf icon external link icon (TSP), if you meet the following criteria:  1) you are age 50 or over (or will be age 50 during 2017); 2) you are in pay status; AND 3) you are contributing an amount towards your regular TSP which will cause you to reach the $18,000 IRS limit by the end of the 2017 calendar year.   The 2017 IRS limit for TSP Catch-up is $6,000.   If you have entered a TSP Catch-up election into myPay for 2017, you should confirm your election in myPay external link icon and the deductions on your LES.  Unlike regular TSP elections, a Catch-up election is only valid for one calendar year.  Therefore, if you want to make Catch-up contributions each year, you must make a new election each year. 

After an election is entered into myPay external link icon(DFAS), it will be effective at the beginning of the next pay period, and it will take 1-2 pay periods before it is visible in myPay and on your LES.  Only one regular TSP election and one TSP Catch-up election can be entered into myPay during a pay period.  

If you have questions, refer them to your Benefits Contact.

Back to top

4. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – Know The Facts!

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) external link icon is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the uniformed services.  To learn about the importance of contributing to the TSP, take a few minutes to view the following short, informative videos:

The 2017 IRS annual contribution limit for regular TSP contributions is $18,000.  In addition to regular TSP contributions, you may also make TSP Catch-up contributionspdf icon external link icon, if you meet certain criteria.  The 2017 IRS annual limit for TSP Catch-up is $6,000.  You may start, stop, or change your TSP contributions at any time by using myPay external link icon.

To view additional information, visit the TSP website external link icon.  If you have questions, refer them to your Benefits Contact.

Back to top

5. Important Benefits Reminders For Administrative Officers

When An Employee Enters Leave Without Pay (LWOP) Status – If an employee will be on LWOP for more than 30 consecutive days, a personnel action must be processed.  For guidance, please contact your Client Services Division HR Representative NIH Only.   Because non-pay status can severely impact an employee’s benefits, it is also very important that you notify your Benefits Contact as soon as you are notified that the employee is going on LWOP.

When An Employee Dies In Service – In the event of the death of an employee, please notify your Benefits Contact immediately.  The Benefits Contact will counsel the employee’s surviving family member(s) on available benefits and assist in the preparation and timely submission of death benefits claim forms.

Back to top

6. 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 (Bldg 31/Rm B3C23) for processing.  However, for movement between other states and/or the District, you must change your state tax information in myPay external link icon (DFAS) by selecting State Withholding.  After entering your updated information select Save. You can access your Leave and Earnings Statement in myPay external link icon (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.

7. 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:

Back to top

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 link icon 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 link icon. 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 link icon.

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 link icon 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 link icon 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 link icon.

If you encounter problems with your Login and/or Password or technical issues using myPay external link icon, 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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

Where Do I Go If I Have Questions About My Benefits?

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 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.

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

Back to top

This page was last reviewed on