Benefits

Federal employees have access to a comprehensive benefits package designed to enhance their wellness, education, and work-life balance. Below you will find the time frames for enrolling in the various benefits programs as well as an explanation of the benefits offered to all employees.

Time Frames for Enrolling

Within 60 days AFTER entry-on-duty date:

Any time AFTER entry-on-duty date:

Explanation of Benefits for New Employees

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)

Purpose: This program provides comprehensive health insurance. It allows you to choose from approximately 180 health care plans, including Fee-for-Service (FFS) plans and their Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), or Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) if you live (or sometimes if you work) within the area serviced by the plan. Generally, premiums are shared by you and USCIS.

Instructions: Choose the plan that is suitable to your marital status, lifestyle and medical status. Enter the information for your plan on the Form SF-2809 (PDF), Health Benefits Election. You must submit the completed Form SF-2809 within 60 days of your date of employment to:

USCIS Human Resources Operations Center
Attn: Benefits and Retirement Branch
70 Kimball Avenue
S. Burlington, VT 05403

Federal Employee Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP)

Purpose: This program provides supplemental comprehensive dental and vision insurance and allows you to choose from various dental and vision plans. You pay the entire premium.

Instructions: Review plan information on OPM’s website. To enroll, make your elections on the BENEFEDS website within 60 days of your date of employment.

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

Purpose: This program provides group term life insurance. If you are eligible, you are automatically covered under basic life insurance unless you choose to waive the coverage. You may elect optional coverage for yourself and/or eligible family members. You pay the entire premium. 

Instructions: Read and complete the Standard Form 2817 located on the site if you want optional insurance. You must submit the completed form within 60 days of your date of employment to Benefits-Burlington@uscis.dhs.gov.

SAMBA Employee Benevolent Fund (EBF)

Purpose:  The Special Agents Mutual Benefit Association (SAMBA) program provides an array of insurance plans to meet employee needs, including the comprehensive SAMBA Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) plan, life insurance for you and your family, dental and vision insurance, and disability income protection insurance.

SAMBA is a not-for-profit federal employee benefit association that meets the specific needs of its members and their families by working works closely with top-rated insurance providers to create plans at affordable rates.

Instructions; Access the site and follow instructions. To enroll, make your election on the SAMBA website within 60 days of employment.

Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

Purpose: This program provides long-term care insurance coverage for costs of care when enrollees need help with activities they perform every day or if they have a cognitive disability such as Alzheimer's disease. Certain medical conditions will prevent some people from being approved for coverage.

Instructions: Access the site and apply to find out if you are eligible to enroll.

Federal Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAFEDS)

Purpose: This is an account that allows you to contribute money from your salary before taxes are withheld in order to get reimbursed for your out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses.

Instructions: Access the FSAFEDS website and follow the instructions to enroll within 60 days of employment.

Retirement

Purpose: The OPM website provides information on retirement and available services. 

Instructions: Access the site and follow instructions.

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)

Purpose: This is one of the federal government’s retirement plans that provide benefits from three different sources: (1) the Basic Benefit Plan, (2) Social Security, and (3) the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). For the Basic Benefit and Social Security parts of FERS, you must pay a share of the cost each pay period. USCIS withholds the cost of the Basic Benefit and Social Security portions from your pay as payroll deductions. Upon retirement, you receive annuity payments each month for the rest of your life.

Instructions:  Access the OPM website and follow instructions.

Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)

Purpose: This is one of the federal government’s retirement plans for federal employees hired before Jan. 1, 1987. You share in the expense of the annuities you are entitled to receive. Generally, you contribute 7% or 7 ½% of your pay to CSRS and, while you, generally, do not pay Social Security retirement, survivor and disability (OASDI) tax, you must pay the Medicare tax. USCIS matches your contributions. You may also contribute a portion of your pay to Thrift Savings Plan TSP and it is tax-deferred; however, there is no USCIS contribution. For more information, see the following TSP website.

Instructions:  Access the OPM website and follow instructions.

Thrift Savings Plan

Purpose: The Thrift Savings Plan is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees and members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve. It offers the same types of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans. TSP is a defined contribution plan, meaning that the retirement income you receive from your TSP account will depend on how much you (and your agency, if you are eligible to receive agency contributions) put into your account during your working years and the earnings accumulated over that time. Visit TSP website each year to determine the amount of annual contributions.

Instructions: Access the TSP website and follow instructions on how to enroll.

U.S. Savings Bonds

Purpose: You can save a portion of your earnings each pay period by investing in U.S. savings bonds. Through your purchase of savings bonds, you participate in the financing of the federal government while at the same time making a safe investment. The savings bonds program operates via payroll direct deposit, just like any other payroll allotment.

Instructions: Access the Savings Bond website, open a TreasuryDirect account, set up an allotment for payroll direct deposit, and follow instructions. TreasuryDirect is the first and only financial services website that lets you buy savings bonds and treasury notes from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in paperless electronic form. Contact the USCIS Payroll Office for more information

Social Security

You will earn Social Security credit while working with the federal government. Social Security provides for your future retirement benefits, disability protection, Medicare, and supplemental security income. A portion of your pay will be deducted for Social Security benefits. Access the Social Security website to learn more about Social Security benefits.

Employee Personal Page (EPP)

Purpose: This automated self-service system, managed by the USCIS payroll system and the National Finance Center (NFC) that allows you to initiate the processing of certain personnel-payroll transactions electronically. For example, the system allows you to view your Earnings & Leave statement and make changes to your financial allotments, health benefits, Thrift Savings Plan, direct deposit, federal and state tax withholdings, home address listing, and more.

Instructions:  The National Finance Center will automatically grant you access to the page within 30-45 days of employment (after receipt of first paycheck). Follow the instructions you receive access to the page.

Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF)

Purpose: The eOPF is an automated, electronic self-service system that allows you to view and print any document in your official personnel folder. It contains records that cover your employment history as a civilian federal employee and includes Notifications of Personnel Actions (Forms SF 50), health-benefit and life insurance forms, and designation of beneficiaries.

Instructions:  After you are paid for the first time, submit an email to request access to USCIS.EOPF@uscis.dhs.gov. You must include the last four digits of your Social Security number when requesting access. After you receive access information, visit the eOPF website and enter your access information. You will then be able to view and print documents contained in your personnel folder.

Designation of Beneficiary Forms

Form SF-2823, Designation of Beneficiary for Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program (PDF)
FEGLI enrollees and assignees use this form to designate who should receive the death benefits. NOT required if the enrollee or assignee has not filed a previous designation of beneficiary and is satisfied with the standard order of precedence. 

Form SF-3102, Designation of Beneficiary for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)   (PDF)
FERS employees use this form to designate who should receive their death benefits.

Form SF-1152, Designation of Beneficiary for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Civilian Employee (PDF)
USCIS employees use this form to designate who should receive their unpaid compensation (pay).

Form SF-2808, Designation of Beneficiary for Civil Service Retirement System (PDF) (if applicable)
USCIS employees use this form to designate who should receive their retirement compensation.  Employees are responsible for sending completed SF-2808 forms directly to the Office of Personnel Management (address is on the form).

Form TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary for Thrift Savings Plan (PDF)
USCIS employees use this form to designate who should receive their TSP funds.  Employees are responsible for sending completed TSP-3 forms directly to the Thrift Savings Plan (address is on the form).

All applicable beneficiary forms should be completed and sent (with the exception of the SF-2808 and TSP-3 forms) as soon as possible to:

USCIS Human Resources Operations Center
Attn: Benefits and Retirement Branch
70 Kimball Avenue
South Burlington, VT 05403

Pay and Leave

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