Pay & Benefits Watch Pay & Benefits WatchPay & Benefits Watch
Key developments in the world of federal employee benefits: health, pay, and much more.

Health and taxes

ARCHIVES
Several readers have written in with questions about the new law allowing employees to have health insurance premiums treated as pre-tax income.

One reader wants to know if after he takes advantage of "premium conversion" (the Office of Personnel Management's name for the new benefit) he can still claim Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) premiums as an itemized tax deduction.

The answer is no. Here's the official word from OPM:

"Yes, premium conversion eliminates the deductibility of FEHB premiums, but remember that premium conversion may eliminate taxes not affected by itemized deductions such as Medicare and Social Security. You may wish to consult a tax advisor."

Several retirees have written to find out if they can get in out the pre-tax health benefit. Again, the answer is no. At least not yet. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va. has introduced a bill, H.R. 4277, that would allow retirees, military service members and retirees, and legislative branch employees to receive the tax break, but it is unlikely that the bill will pass this year.

Premium conversion goes into effect in the first pay period that begins on or after Oct. 1. Unless employees opt out of the new program, they are enrolled automatically.

Student Loans

OPM Director Janice R. Lachance said Wednesday that her agency will issue final regulations on student loan repayments this fall. Under section 5379 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, agencies can repay employee student loans to "recruit or retain highly qualified professional, technical or administrative personnel." However, OPM has yet to issue implementing regulations for the law.

Once those regulations are put into place later this year, individual agencies will be responsible for determining how they will use the student loan repayment program. For more background on the issue, see "OPM seeks to expand student loan repayment benefit" (June 20).

Avoid Those Museum Lines

Here's a perk of being a federal employee that you probably didn't know about. Starting Oct. 1 federal employees, retirees and Postal workers can jump the line at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Usually visitors arrive at the museum and are issued a pass that allows them to return at a certain time that day. But federal employees can receive immediate entrance to the permanent exhibition simply by displaying a government ID at the museum's pass desk. Federal employees can bring up to four guests and no day or time restrictions apply.

The Holocaust museum is located at 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW (formerly 15th St.), in Washington, just south of Independence Ave. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information contact the museum at (202) 488-0448 or go to http://www.ushmm.org.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.