Insurance, Health, and Retirement: Benefits Important to You!
Click on the links below for an overview of each benefit program:
New employees have 60 days from their appointment date to sign up for FEHB. To find out more information on the FEHB program, research Health Insurance plans, and compare premiums, please visit their website at: www.opm.gov/insure/health/index.asp
High Deductible Health Plan & Health Savings Account
Flexible Spending Account
New employees who wish to enroll in this program must do so within 60 days after they become eligible, but before October 1 of the calendar year. Current enrollees must remember to enroll each year to continue participating in FSAFEDS as enrollment does NOT carry forward year to year. The FSAFEDS program offers the same Annual Open Season as the FEHB program. To find out more information on the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program and to enroll, visit their website www.fsafeds.com.
Dental & Vision Insurance
FEGLI offers a Basic Life Insurance coverage and three forms of Optional Life Insurance Coverage. Basic Coverage is equal to your current annual salary, rounded up to the next highest thousand plus an additional $2,000. For example, if your annual salary is $51,500 your Basic Life Insurance coverage is worth $54,000. The additional Optional FEGLI Coverage is based on multiples of your salary and can be worth as much as 5 times your annual salary. FEGLI also offers minimal optional coverage on both your spouse and dependent children. FEGLI is a group term life insurance program, and does not build cash value.
New employees have 60 days from their appointment date to sign up for FEGLI. To find out more information on the FEGLI program, please visit their website at www.opm.gov/insure/life/index.asp.
To better understand the cost of the FEGLI coverage you are thinking of electing, go to the online FEGLI Calculator located at: www.opm.gov/calculator/worksheet.asp. The FEGLI Calculator allows you to determine the face value of various combinations of FEGLI coverage; calculate premiums for the various combinations of coverage; see how choosing different Options can change the amount of life insurance and the premium withholdings.
Long Term Care Insurance
Long term care insurance is a smart way to protect your income and assets and remain financially independent should you need long term care services at home, in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or in other settings. Most health insurance programs, including the FEHB Program, TRICARE, and TRICARE For Life, provide little or no coverage for long term care.
Long term care is care that you might need for the rest of your life. This care can span years and can be expensive depending on the type of care you need and location where that care is received. Long term care insurance is one way of helping to pay for these expenses.
The John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company is the provider for this FLTCIP group policy. The Federal Government has worked closely with John Hancock to ensure this insurance coverage offers the kind of benefits and features that are valuable to members of the Federal Family today and in the future. The FLTCIP program is a comprehensive plan and you'll find that with this program, you can choose to receive care at home, in an assisted living facility, in a nursing home, or in other settings. Additional features include, respite care, bed reservations, portability, caregiver training, guaranteed renewable, waiver of premium, inflation protection options and many more to choose from.
New employees have 60 days to sign up for LTCFEDS using an Abbreviated Underwriting application form. Current National Park Service employees who are eligible for LTCFEDS may enroll at anytime using the Full Underwriting application process. In addition to employees, current spouses, adult children, parents, parents-in-law, and step-parents are also eligible for coverage.
To find out more information on the Long Term Care Program and to enroll, visit their website at www.ltcfeds.com
Thrift Savings Plan
Traditional Contributions: These contributions are before-tax contributions. Before-tax contributions, allows you to reduce the amount of income tax you pay annually. Your investment earnings will also grow tax-deferred, this allows you to delay paying taxes on your TSP account earnings until you start to withdrawal from your TSP account. Traditional (pre-tax) contributions, which lower your current taxable income, give you a tax break today. They grow in your account tax-deferred, but when you withdraw your money, you pay taxes on both the contributions and their earnings.
Roth Contributions: Roth contributions are taken out of your paycheck after your income is taxed. When you withdraw funds from your Roth balance, you will receive your Roth contributions tax free since you have already paid taxes on the contributions. You also won't pay taxes on any investment earnings, as long as you're at least age 59½ (or disabled) and your withdrawal is made at least 5 years after the beginning of the year in which you made your first Roth contribution. The TSP Roth feature will give participants flexibility in the tax treatment of their contributions now and in the future.
Both CSRS and FERS employees are eligible to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and they each have the same IRS elective deferral limits, the same funds to invest in, and the same withdrawal options.
FERS employees only receive Matching Contributions on the first 5% of pay that you contribute each pay period. The first 3% of pay that you contribute will be matched dollar-for dollar; the next 2% will be matched at 50 cents per dollar. Contributions above 5% will not be matched. If you stop making regular employee contributions, your matching contributions will also stop. Matching contributions are not taken out of your pay. Matching contribution monies will be placed in your TSP account by the Agency.
The TSP offers the choice of investing by percentage of salary or by dollar amount per pay period. Once an employee is enrolled they may change contributions and reallocate funds using the tsp website. The employee has the option of investing in 5 available funds, or in a choice of "L" or Lifecycle funds. Lifecycle funds, use professionally determined investment mixes that are tailored to meet investment objectives based on various time horizons.
If you were recently hired, your agency automatically enrolled you in the TSP at a 3% contribution rate. 3% of your basic pay is deducted from your paycheck each pay period and deposited in your TSP account, unless you have made an election to change or stop your contributions. If you had a 401K from a previous employer or an eligible IRA, you may be eligible to roll money over from those accounts into your TSP account.
Regardless of your retirement system, participating in the TSP can significantly increase your retirement income, but starting early is important. Contributing early gives the money in your account more time to increase in value through the compounding of earnings. To learn more about the Thrift Savings Plan, please go to www.tsp.gov.