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New Hire Pay and Benefits Information

New Hire Pay and Benefits Information

This new hire pay and benefits fact sheet is provided as a summary of information of each of the benefits that you are eligible to enroll in. It is highly recommended that you attend a new hire benefits webinar session to receive thorough guidance on these benefits from a USGS Benefits Team member. This information applies to employees appointed on a permanent or a time-limited appointment of more than one year.

→Schedule of the new hire benefits training

→Additional information can be found on the Pay and Benefits website

→Questions? Contact your Benefits Specialist for additional information and at any time you have a life event such as marriage, etc. - there are benefits elections you can make within a specific timeframe.

→The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) offers a video for new hires. Watch the video here.


Table of Contents:


⇒ Health Benefits (FEHB)

Working a Part-time schedule: Contact a member of the Benefits Team

FORM: Complete the SF-2809 form This form may be submitted online using the Entrance on Duty System

  • Return completed form even if you are not electing (waiving) coverage
  • Event Code in Part D is “1A” and Date is your Entrance on Duty date (EOD)
  • 60 days to enroll
  • Automatic premium conversion (pre-tax premium) - ask for form if you wish to waive
  • To select a plan, first review the Plan Information site- that includes types of plans, cost, and comparison tool
  • Second, review individual plan brochures for specific details of coverage
  • Effective at the beginning of the pay period after the completed form is received in the HR Office if you were in a pay and duty status the prior pay period

NOTE: Some temporary employees are not eligible until reaching one year of continuous employment. Some are eligible earlier. See the FEHB Modification for more information or contact a member of the Benefits Team.


⇒ Life Insurance (FEGLI)

Working a Part-time schedule: Contact a member of the Benefits Team

FORM: Complete the SF-2817 form This form may be submitted online using the Entrance on Duty System

  • Automatically enrolled in Basic coverage (equal to annual salary + $2000) unless waived
  • 60 days to elect additional Options
    • Option A = $10,000 in coverage
    • Option B = up to 5 multiples of salary
    • Option C = up to 5 multiples of coverage for eligible family members
  • Read the FEGLI brochure for detailed information to assist you with your election
  • Use the FEGLI Calculator to determine cost and value of coverage elected
  • Effective on the first day you are in a pay and duty status on or after the HR Office receives completed form

NOTE: Temporary employees are not eligible for FEGLI coverage


Life Insurance (SAMBA)

  • 60 days to elect online
    • $17,500 death benefit ($39 annual premium)
    • $35,000 death benefit ($78 annual premium)
  • Contact SAMBA representative for assistance at 301-984-1440 or 1-800-638-6589


Supplemental Dental & Vision Insurance (FEDVIP)

NOTE: Temporary employees are not eligible until reaching one year of continuous employment


Flexible Spending Account (FSAFEDS)

  • Enroll by calling FSAFEDS directly at 1-877-372-3337 or online at
  • 60 days to enroll 
  • Pre-tax plan to save for medical &/or dependent care costs not covered by health plan

NOTE: You must be eligible to enroll in FEHB to be eligible to enroll in FSAFEDS


Long Term Care Insurance (FLTCIP)

  • Apply online or download an application at
  • 60 days to enroll with abbreviated underwriting application (fewer health questions) Call Customer Service line with questions at 1-800-582-3337
  • Coverage for your family members (spouse, domestic partners, parents, in-laws, etc.) is also available Review the Program Overview brochure
  • Calculators and additional information available on website at

NOTE: You must be eligible to enroll in FEHB to be eligible to enroll in FLTCIP


Retirement Coverage

Working a Part-time schedule: Contact a member of the Benefits Team

NOTE: Temporary employees are not eligible for retirement coverage. Coverage is under Social Security (OASDI) only. Temporary service served on or after January 1, 1989 is not creditable under FERS


Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

Working a Part-time schedule: Contact a member of the Benefits Team

FORMS: Complete the TSP -1 election form found online at TSP or use Employee Express. TSP allows you to make tax deferred (traditional) and/or after-tax (Roth) contributions

  • TSP Spillover traditional and Roth contributions are also available for age 50 and older
  • Your TSP account is a very important part of your future retirement benefit; Read the Summary of Thrift Savings
  • Plan Booklet, go to Early Career Planning Tools webpage and view videos for information
  • TSP account access information will be mailed to your home address from TSP in about 30 days
  • You will be automatically enrolled in the traditional TSP and 5% of your basic pay will be deducted from your paycheck each pay period and deposited in your TSP account. Newly enrolled TSP participants default investment fund will be the age-appropriate Lifecycle (L) fund.
  • You will begin receiving automatic agency contributions (tax-deferred) equal to 1% of your pay as well as agency matching contributions (tax-deferred)
  • You will begin receiving the full match on your 5% contribution immediately
  • You can make changes to your contribution election at any time in Employee Express

NOTE: Temporary employees are not eligible to contribute to the TSP


Designation of Beneficiary Forms

  • Access online forms if needed - you can fill in online but must print for wet signatures
  • Forms are not required; if Order of Precedence (see back of each form) is acceptable, a form is not needed
  • If you do complete forms, it is your responsibility to review periodically to ensure that they are kept up to date; life events such as marriage, divorce, etc. do not change who you have designated to receive funds
  • Send TSP-3 form directly to TSP – address and fax number on page 1 of form; wait to submit until your first contribution is received by TSP so that you have an account established.


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

  • Espyr provides various well-being programs for employees and eligible family members Contact an EAP consultant at 800-869-0276 for assistance or information.


Savings Bonds

  • You can elect to start voluntary allotment to purchase savings bonds through payroll deduction


Employee Express

  • Employee Express allows you to keep your personal information and elections up-to-date. You can update federal and state tax withholdings, direct deposit, TSP changes, voluntary allotments, home address, and more! You will receive log-in information to your official government email address within about 30 days.


Earnings and Leave Statement

  • Earnings and Leave Statement (a.k.a. pay statement) are generated every two weeks and available in Employee Express. It is your responsibility to review your statements for accuracy of benefits premiums and coverage and to contact the number on your statement if you think there are any errors promptly.


Electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF)

  • You will receive access information within about 30 days
  • Allows easy access to your records at any time – online
  • It is an electronic file that maintains all of your personnel actions throughout your Federal career
  • Automatic email is generated to notify you when a personnel action has been processed


Employee Handbook

  • Onboarding is a process during your first few months. This Handbook is intended to help you understand more about the USGS and your benefits.


New Employee Checklist

  • The New Employee Checklist lists the various activities and timelines for you to complete. You will coordinate this with your supervisor.



  • A complete listing by organization is provided with the name and telephone number for your Benefits Specialist.


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