Welcome to the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York!
As a new employee, you are eligible for several benefits and will need to make decisions on these benefits, usually within 60 days of your appointment. Enrollment forms are provided for your use and may be completed and returned to us during new employee orientation.
Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
If you are new to the Federal government or have had a break in service of more than 180 days, you will be automatically enrolled in FEGLI's Basic life insurance coverage. Your Basic coverage amount is your annual salary rounded up to the next thousand dollars, plus two thousand. You will also be eligible to elect within 60 days of your appointment date, Option A (Standard) which adds $10,000 to your Basic coverage amount; Option B (Additional) increases your coverage by up to 5 multiples of your salary; and Option C (Family) which allows you to insure your spouse and children for up to 5 multiples of $5,000 and $2,500, respectively. If you decide that you do not want to enroll in Basic coverage and/or any of the options, you will then only be able to elect coverage if you either experience a life event, such as getting married or birth of a child, or undergo a physical (at your own expense) after a waiting period of at least 52 weeks from the date you declined coverage.
Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program (FEHB)
As a new Federal employee, you have 60 days from your appointment date to elect a health plan. Available plans include nationwide plans, health funds with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Coverage is effective the first day of the pay period following our receipt of your completed SF-2809 election form. Should you not elect coverage within this initial 60 day period, you must then wait for "open season," a period in November-December in which you may elect coverage, change your existing coverage, or cancel your coverage. Elections made during open season, are effective the first day of the first full pay period in January of the following year. You may also be able to make changes to your coverage if you experience a qualifying life event. The government pays a portion of your premium and the part of the premium which you pay is a pre-tax deduction from your salary check.
Federal Employees' Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP)
If you are new to the government and eligible for FEHB (you need not be enrolled), you can elect supplemental dental and/or vision care by self-enrolling at www.fsafeds.com. You must enroll within 60 days of your appointment date. Pre-tax premiums will be deducted from your salary check and there is no government contribution to these premiums. If you do not enroll during this period, you can enroll during the annual open season or through a qualifying life event. You may make changes to your coverage during open season or through a qualifying life event. Employees transferring need only contact Benefeds to notify them of your change of agency. Transferring employees not currently enrolled in FEDVIP must wait for open season to elect coverage.
The vast majority of employees are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) which provides a monthly benefit to retirees who have met the eligibility requirements for retirement. The amount of the benefit is computed using a formula based on length of Federal service and the average salary computed over the highest three years of consecutive service. FERS is a defined contribution plan where the FERS annuity is supplemented by Social Security (FICA) and the Thrift Savings Plan to provide a complete retirement benefit.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
Similar to a 401K plan, and in addition to your pension and Social Security, TSP offers employees the ability to save either pre-tax (Traditional TSP) or post-tax (Roth TSP) dollars from your salary check. New employees are automatically enrolled in the TSP at a contribution rate of 3%. TSP is comprised of 5 funds-Government Securities (G); Bonds (F); Large Cap Stocks (C); Small Cap Stocks (S); and International Stocks (I). You can invest in 1 fund or all of them. You have the option of investing in the "L" funds which are portfolios already created for various retirement goal years and each portfolio invests in all 5 funds. As you get closer to your goal year, your portfolio will realign the percentages invested in each fund to lower your risk. You can start, stop, and restart your TSP contributions at any time. You can also raise and lower your contributions as well. Additionally, the government matches the first 3% contributed by FERS employees dollar-for-dollar; 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2%; and provides a 1% automatic contribution to your account regardless of your whether you contribute or not. You can designate a contribution rate percentage or dollar amount by submitting the TSP-1 form. If you are 50 years of age or older, you can make additional "catch-up" contributions by submitting the TSP-1C form. https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-1-c.pdf
Once your account has been established, TSP will send you a welcome letter containing your TSP account number. This account number and the password you create will allow you access to your personal account information at www.tsp.gov. Initially, your contributions will be invested in the G Fund, until you make a different choice.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
New Federal employees have 60 days from their appointment date (but no later than September 30) to enroll in a Health Care and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account at www.fsafeds.com. Flexible Spending Accounts allow employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. There are 3 types of FSAs-Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) which can be used to pay for qualified medical costs and health care expenses that are not paid by your FEHB plan or any other insurance; Limited Expense Health Care Flexible Spending Account (LEX HCFSA) is available only to those who enroll in a FEHB program High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA) and eligible expenses are limited to dental and vision care services/products that meet the IRS definition of medical care; Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) is used to pay for eligible dependent care expenses such as child care for children under age 13 or day care for anyone who you claim as a dependent on your Federal tax return who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care so that you (and your spouse) can work. Unlike other Federal benefits, you must enroll annually in order to participate from one year to the next.
Federal Long Term Care Insurance (LTC)
Long term care is care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks (activities of daily living) by yourself due to chronic illness, injury, disability, or the aging process. You can select coverage for nursing home care, home care, hospice, etc., which can be expensive if you have to pay out-of-pocket. If you are a new Federal employee and apply within the 60 days of your appointment date, you can use the abbreviated underwriting application which asks limited health-related questions. All employees can apply after this period, but will have to use the full underwriting application. Qualified relatives are also eligible to apply for coverage and they include your spouse, parents, in-laws, stepparents, adult children and same-sex domestic partners. The government does not provide any contributions to the cost of long term care insurance.
All employees are eligible for a transit subsidy which provides a monthly stipend through the use of a debit card to purchase a MetroCard or other transportation voucher. As a new employee, you would complete the attached application by "circling" New Application and detailing how you commute to and from your worksite. After the form is signed by you and your supervisor, you then forward the form to our Budget Officer, who will contact you in approximately 6 weeks and will issue a debit card to you.
Additional forms you may complete prior to your first day
- Federal Tax Form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf
- NY State and City: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/wt/it2104_fill_in.pdf
- NYC non-resident: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/it/it2104_1_fill_in.pdf
- Direct Deposit: http://www.ssa.gov/deposit/1199a.pdf