Friday, October 18, 2013

Not Everything Transfers...

Prior to joining the Dept. of State this past July, I was working for a few months for the Dept. of Navy in Charleston SC. It was only 5-6 months, but I did accrue a little bit of vacation/sick leave (that originally I planned to use for our 5 year anniversary trip in July to Hawaii, but DoS came a'callin...) as well as a little bit in my retirement account. Plus, I had my health insurance (including dental, vision, dependent care/flexible spending account). I was told that everything would automatically transfer over. Come to find out, not everything transfers over (at least without some help).

When you start with the Dept., you are told it can take a few weeks for your first paycheck to show up. That's fine, as that usually is the case with most new jobs (you have to be put in to the payroll system, etc). When I got my first paycheck, I saw that my portion of my health care had been deducted from my check, but nothing showing my dental, vision, dependent care/flexible spending account. I emailed State HR to find out what was up, and also called Benefeds (they are the party that manages dental and vision) as well as FSAFeds. Come to find out, I had to call them to let them know I changed agencies. Kind of opposite from the "everything transfers"I was told....

It took me a few weeks to get that straightened out, but finally my dental, vision, dependent care/flexible spending is now being deducted as I signed up for.

Next up, vacation and sick leave. I'm sure at some point it would have transferred over, but some classmates of mine found the quick way (if you are just starting, don't do this first thing. Wait a few pay periods and if nothing has transferred yet go this route). First, make sure you have your FINAL Leave and Earnings (L&E) statement from your previous agency. I didn't have access to my old payroll system so I had to jump through a few hoops but I finally got it. Next send a copy of the L&E statement to "Pay Help" letting them know you you transferred from another agency and you would like them to transfer your sick and vacation balances. Presto, they will transfer it over and you will see it on your State L&E statement within 1-2 pay periods.

Other than the dental/vision and FSA portion, I'm sure the vacation and sick leave would have eventually transferred over. The rest, well it doesn't automatically "transfer over"....

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pin Cushion

Part of the joy of being in the Foreign Service is you get to get vaccinated for oh...everything before you go to post (and sometimes in between posts). I stopped by the medical center today during our lunch break to drop off Deb and the kids vaccination records. I cannot find mine, and my doctor does not have them in my files.

When I dropped Deb and the kids records off, the nurse asked if I  had mine. I told her I didn't and my doctor couldn't find them. She then got an evil look on her face and started laughing.  Looks like I'm getting everything (at a minimum I estimate 5 shots on my first round)!