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May 2016 Benefits Newsletter

What's New?

  1. Benefits Calendar Of Events
  2. We Have Made Some Changes – New Benefits Staff Assignments!

Topics Of Interest:

  1. View Your Benefits Portfolio – It’s Just A Click Away!
  2. Check Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Contribution(s) – Don’t Miss Out On Valuable Agency Matching Contributions!
  3. What Do I Do If I Am Injured At Work?
  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. We Have Made Some Changes – New Benefits Staff Assignments!

Due to recent staff changes in the OHR Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch, we have made a number of changes in staff servicing assignments.  To find your Benefits Contact, refer to our Benefits Contact List.

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Topics Of Interest

3. View Your Benefits Portfolio – It’s Just A Click Away!

Did you know that you have easy access to your personal benefits information, as well as access to a calculator that allows you to prepare your own retirement estimates?  The Employee Benefits Information System (EBIS) external link icon is an HHS-wide enterprise application that provides employees with information about retirement and benefits 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Check out EBIS today!  Being informed about retirement and your benefits allows you to better plan for your financial future.

EBIS Features:

  • Allows you to view and print a personalized statement of your life insurance, health benefits, retirement, and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).  
  • Has several estimators and calculators enabling you to perform "what if" scenarios concerning retirement benefits such as retirement annuity, high-3 average salary, TSP annuity, and TSP projected account balance.
  • Has a comprehensive reference library of information relating to retirement, health insurance, life insurance, TSP, Social Security, and other benefits. 
  • Has over 40 benefits forms available via the system. These forms are available for you to complete, print, and submit to the appropriate office for processing.

Learn more about EBIS including how to access the system by visiting the OHR EBIS webpage!  The first time you access the system, you must create a unique User ID and Password. If you have forgotten your log-in information, you can click the “Forgot Login” link on the EBIS homepage external link icon.

If you have questions of a technical nature, e.g., trouble accessing the system, please contact HR Systems Support at HRSS@nih.gov or use their online web form NIH Only.  For questions related to the benefits information contained in EBIS, speak to your Benefits Contact.

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4. Check Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Contributions – Don’t Miss Out On Valuable Agency Contributions!

The 2016 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.  You should check your TSP election in myPay external link icon (DFAS).  Additionally, you should view your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) each pay period to confirm the deductions.  You can access your LES in myPay external link icon (DFAS).  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 2016.   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 contributions external link icon (TSP), if you meet the following criteria:  1) you are age 50 or over (or will be age 50 during 2016); 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 2016 calendar year.   The 2016 IRS limit for TSP Catch-up is $6,000.   If you have already entered your TSP Catch-up election in myPay for 2016, you should confirm your election in myPay external link icon (DFAS) 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.

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5. What Do I Do If I Am Injured At Work?.

If you are injured in the performance of duty, you should immediately contact the Occupational Medical Service (OMS) at 301- 496-4411 to report the injury and seek medical attention.  You may be entitled to medical services and lost wages compensation.  If appropriate, OMS will direct you to the NIH Workers’ Compensation Program.  The NIH Workers’ Compensation Program will assist you throughout the life of your claim.  To learn more about the program, call 301-402-2669 to speak with a Compensation Specialist or visit the Benefits and Payroll Liaison Branch’s website.

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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 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.

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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?

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

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