Human Resources Specialist (Employee Benefits)

Agricultural Research Service
Beltsville, MD
Oct 12, 2021
Oct 14, 2021
Human Resources
Full Time
Summary This position is located within the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Administrative and Financial Management, Human Resources Division in Beltsville, MD. Responsibilities Provides orientation on employee benefits programs, to new or current Federal employees. Provides guidance to employees returning to the Federal, Government, who are eligible for coverage under either FERS or CSRS-Offset as to the provisions of each retirement system and the advantage or disadvantage in their specific situation. Monitors Benefits Administration Letters (BALS) and benefits programs (ie, FEGLI, FEHB, FERS, TSP) following proposed changes to legislation, and/or regulations keeping abreast of changes. Provides information to employees regarding the manner in which military service is credited for Federal retirement purposes. Counsels retired military employees when it may be advisable to waive their military pension to permit the military time to be credited for civilian civil service annuity purposes. Reviews a wide variety of computations, retirement applications, and other supporting documentation for completeness, accuracy, validity and compliance with law and regulation. Reviews monthly OPM audit reports to ensure submitted retirement applications are in compliance with regulations. Monitors Customer Service Portal and retrieves retirement personnel actions, lump sums payments and other benefits request (spouse equity, benefits for children over 26, etc.). Develops a variety of annuity computations for different types of retirements, ie, voluntary, early, discontinued, phased, as well as death cases and disability retirement, deposits and redeposits, and supplemental annuity payments Counsels families/beneficiaries of deceased employees concerning benefits payable. Requirements Conditions of Employment Qualifications Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience and/or education, as defined below. Time in grade: Applicants must have one year at the next lower grade to be considered for the next higher grade (eg one year at the GS-11 grade level for consideration for the GS-12 grade level) Specialized Experience: Specialized experience is experience directly related to the position to be filled. Specialized experience must be described for each grade level advertised. At the GS-11: Qualifying experience for GS-11 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-09 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience working with retirement and benefits; and providing counseling on retirement systems and benefit programs to employees. OR Education: completion of a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.M., if related. Such education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. OR A combination of education and experience as described above At the GS-12: Qualifying experience for GS-12 includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-11 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is experience working with retirement and benefits; providing counseling on retirement and benefit programs to employees; and training employees on practices or regulations of retirement systems and benefit programs. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (eg, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (eg, professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. Education Additional Information Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100. Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period. For more information on applying under special hiring authorities such as the Veteran's Recruitment Act (VRA), 30 percent disabled veterans, certain military spouses, Schedule A Disabled, etc., explore the different Hiring Paths on the USAJOBS website. Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. Refer to PUBLIC LAW 114-47-AUG. 7, 2015 for more information. Recruitment or Relocation Incentive may be authorized. Final determination to pay an incentive will be made by the hiring official at time of job offer. If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed. This position may be eligible to telework up to four days per week, based upon the duties of the position. This position may also be eligible for flexible work arrangements as determined by agency policy and any applicable collective bargaining agreements.

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