Special Pays

Medical Corps Special Pays Update from BUMED

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Please see the message below if you graduated from residency in 2017:

From: Marin, William L CIV USN BUMED FCH VA (US)
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2017 10:23 AM
Subject: URGENT SPECIAL PAYS UPDATES

Deputy Corps Chiefs, I just sent an email to all the command special pays
coordinators informing them of a couple of changes that were recently
decided to make.  The first change below is for all Corps, and impacts the
eligibility date for those officers who completed training programs
effective 30 June 2017, which made them eligible for a specific specialty
rate IP 3 months after completing the qualifying training.  For example, a
MC officer who completed residency would be eligible for the specialty IP 1
Oct 17; however, as a result of the ASD(HA) Pay Plan still not being signed,
and the impact that will have on Navy likely not signing the Navy’s FY18 Pay
Guidance until at least Dec.  Thus, the decision has been made to authorize
those officers who completed training 30 June 2017 to submit for the
specialty IP effective 30 Sep 2017 vice 1 Oct 2017.  Next year the decision
may be to move it back to 1 Oct, only for fiscal funding reasons, but for
now they are eligible 30 June.  Those who completed the training 1 July
2017, and later, will have to wait for the FY18 NAVADMIN before they are
able to submit.

The second change is only for Nurse Corps, and it was to advise the commands
of the change regarding the eligibility for Critical Care Nurses eligibility
for the Retention Bonus, which the NC and Crit Care Specialty Leader are
already familiar with.

Appreciate if you could disseminate with your specialty leaders, so they can
advise those within their specialty who may be eligible to submit for the
Incentive Pay IAW the above guidance.

SEMPER FI!

William L. “Bill” Marin
Program Manager, Navy Medical Special Pays Program
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (M13)

FY17 Residency Graduates Should Request the GMO Incentive Pay (IP) While Awaiting Their Specialty IP

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Please see the message below from BUMED Special Pays:

For those who completed residency in FY17, they are eligible for the Specialty IP (Incentive Pay) 3 months after completing the qualifying residency, which for an officer who completed residency 30 June 2017 the eligibility date for the Specialty IP is 1 Oct 17, and the officer has to wait for the FY18 NAVADMIN to be released before he/she can request the IP; however, until then the officer is eligible for the GMO rate IP the day after completing the residency, and should request for that IP, now! This is similar to under the Legacy special pays of requesting the ASP.

All Medical Corps officers who completed residency in FY17 should submit immediately, and have up to 30 days to submit from today, for the GMO IP effective the day after completing the residency. The officer will be paid the GMO IP rate until they can submit for the Specialty IP. If their eligibility date is more than 30 days back submit a retroactive request, and the justification is updated BUMED policy released on 11 Aug 17.

Send any inquiries to the BUMED Special Pays email address below.

usn.ncr.bumedfchva.mbx.specialpays-bumed <at> mail.mil

SEMPER FI!

William L. “Bill” Marin
Program Manager, Navy Medical Special Pays Program
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (M13)

Another Special Pays Update from BUMED

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Navy Medicine Leaders,

Please disseminate this very detailed explanation of how we got to this point of delays in the conversion of special pays and the way forward to mitigate and get through this change period. There are new requirements and timelines different than before that have contributed directly to the delays we have experienced in receiving the new pays in a timely manner. The takeaway for me is that once we get through this initial conversion start up it will be much more manageable and the wait time reduced to the prescribed administrative processing time.

Regards to all,

Robert A. Alonso, MD, MA, F.A.P.A.
CAPT MC USN
Deputy Chief, Medical Corps
Medical Corps Career Planner
Office of the Corps Chief BUMED M00C1
1NW153
7700 Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22042-5135

—–Original Message—–
From: Marin, William L CIV USN BUMED FCH VA (US)
Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 8:18 AM
To: Alonso, Robert A CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US); Molinaro, Joseph D CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US); Stiff, Raymond D CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US); Roy, Deborah E CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US)
Cc: Melody, Brendan T CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US); Tennyson, Ruby M CAPT USN BUMED FCH VA (US)
Subject: SPECIAL PAYS UPDATE

Deputy Corps Chiefs, I just wanted to update you on where the progression of
the conversion to the Consolidated Special Pays.

– I know you have all heard of the delays in processing the new special
pays, which is the result of the added layer of all pays now having to be
paid by DFAS who has 30 days for their processing. Also, for those pays
such as the previous MC and DC ASP and ISP, which were lump sum payments
that my office could pay before, not only is there the added layer of going
to DFAS, but now the IP which replaced the ASP and ISP is paid in the
paycheck vice as a lump sum. What this has caused is a possible addition
of up to 3-4 weeks from the date DFAS has completed their processing. For
every payday there is an event that occurs called an Update & Extract Date
(U&E), and the U&E occurs approximately 7 days prior to the payday, and the
U&E is specific time. For example, 0100 on that date. There are also
events that occur called Cycles, and what the Cycles do is process entries
to post in an individual’s pay account. The cycles don’t necessarily run
every night, sometimes they may not run for a couple of days, and they don’t
run over the weekends, so DFAS could post an entry three days prior to the
U&E cutoff, but if there are no cycles running between those dates then the
entry will not post until after the U&E cutoff. What the U&E Event does, is
anything that has posted to the individual’s pay account by that U&E
date/time, will post in the upcoming paycheck, but if it misses that cutoff
by even a minute, then it will not reflect until the next paycheck, which is
now 3 weeks away.

Also, since the new IP is paid in the paycheck it is not paid until
after the fact, vice up front like the old ASP and ISP. With the old pays
the member was paid the lump sum up front, but under the IP being paid in
the paycheck the pay is paid after the event occurred. For example, an IP
start date of 1 July 2017 will not reflect in the 1 July 17 paycheck. The
earliest it would reflect, if posted in time, is the 15 July paycheck, and
pay for the last two weeks.

– My office is restricted from sending anything to DFAS earlier than 30 days
prior to the effective date. Although we allow individuals to submit
requests for special pays to my office 60 days prior, the earliest we can
submit to DFAS is 30 days prior to the effective date, so we complete our
processing and then have to hold it until within the 30 days. Plus, my
office also has 30 days in order to process a request before sending it to
DFAS. When the workload is light we usually can complete it within a couple
of weeks, but when the workload is heavy, which this year is due to everyone
having to submit a special pay, and all having to go to DFAS, it will likely
take my office 30 days to process. This creates part of the time delay. Due
to the processing times, and the payday cutoffs, it is likely the earliest
the IP will reflect in a paycheck is at least two paychecks after the actual
effective date, and that is if the request was submitted to my office 45-60
days prior to the effective date. Take a request submitted 15 days prior to
the effective date, my office takes 30 days, DFAS takes 30 days that is
already 45 days past the effective date, and it hasn’t even posted in the
DFAS pay system yet. If it posts in time for the next payday cutoff, which
will be 2-3 weeks then it will be approximately two months from the date the
pay was effective. Individuals need to be patient. I receive dozens of
emails a day inquiring on the status of the request, and some cases a
request that was submitted less than a week prior. Researching the status
of a request takes time away from actually processing requests, so
appreciate if you could push to your Corps to communicate with their command
and let the command contact us if need, and give the process the time to
work. When a request is submitted if there are any issues we will contact
the command/member and let him/her know, so if they haven’t heard anything
then they can expect it is being processed, but they should consult their
commands vice contacting my office.

– DFAS has caught up and for the most part is completing their actions
within the 30 days, but most actions are completed right at the 30 day mark,
and my staff is doing the same. The process is what it is, and both my
staff and DFAS are doing what we can to get requests processed as quickly as
possible, but there is a lot of behind the scenes work that has to be done
both with us, and at DFAS to make a payment happen. DFAS has changed their
policy and rather than stopping the old pays such as VSP and BCP back to the
past they are now crediting the difference between what the individual was
paid for those two pays and what they are eligible for under the new pays.
Then they are stopping the old VSP and BCP the date they are performing the
action. This makes it easier on the member, and does not create debts etc.
as they were doing previously when they first started processing these pays.

– For MC/DC many are inquiring about the increase in their IP for the ASP 1
July 2017. The IP agreement is for one year from their start date, and if
there were any ASP or ISP $ subtracted from their annual IP rate, due to
overlapping pays that $, was subtracted from the annual IP rate, and will be
put back in once the year is over. Any increase to the IP will occur at the
end of the first year, and will start at the beginning of the second year.
Similar to if they terminate and renegotiate their MSP/DOMRB. If they were
paid an anniversary MSP/DOMRB 1 July 2016, the T/R the MSP/DOMRB 1 Oct 16,
they would not be paid the full one year of MSP/DOMRB on 1 Oct 16, the would
receive the prorated portion, which is the difference of what they were paid
1 July2016 for the period 1 Oct 16 – 30 June 17 and the new MSP/DOMRB ending
30 Sep 17.

– When is an officer eligible for the new IP. This applies to all Corps.
An individual is eligible for an IP at the earliest 3 months after the
officer completed the required training for that particular specialty. For
example, a MC officer completes internship 30 June 2017 will become eligible
for either the residency IP, or the GMO IP if not going directly into
residency, 1 Oct 2017 and will have to wait for the FY18 NAVADMIN to be
released to submit. Until that time they will continue to receive the
internship IP, or VSP if they have not converted to the CSP. For residents,
their eligibility date is the same for the specialty IP as long as they are
privileged and practicing on 1 Oct 17. Until then they will continue to be
paid the resident IP, or VSP, if they have not converted. They are eligible
for the BCP prior to 1 Oct 17 if they are board certified, but if they have
not converted to the IP yet they will have to in order to receive the BCP.
They cannot be paid the VSP and the new BCP during the same period, and the
old BCP is no longer available to request. Under the Legacy Special Pays
the same rule existed for the ISP, which was the specialty pay, and MC/DC
officers were not eligible for the ISP until 3 months after completing
residency.

– This firs year is difficult with everyone having to change, and the DFAS
system is not set up for the new pays so everything has bot be performed as
a workaround, to include pays under the legacy special pays. For example,
what was MSP and DOMRG anniversary payments DFAS has realized their system
will not release an MSP/DOMRB anniversary payment if the individual’s VSP
has been stopped, so DFAS has converted everyone under the MSP/DOMRB to a
CRNA-ISP to allow the anniversary payments to be made.

I know this is much more information than what you probably wanted to know,
but I thought it may be helpful to understand how the process works, for all
pay items and not just special pays. As always please do not hesitate to
ask if you have any questions, or need assistance.

We are almost to the end of the FY, and once an individual is in the new
special pays everything will run much smoother for the future. I appreciate
the patience and understanding from all of you, and ask you please let your
Corps know we are doing everything we can to get their pays processed, and
started.

 

SEMPER FI!

William L. “Bill” Marin
Program Manager, Navy Medical Special Pays Program
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (M13)
7700 Arlington Blvd. (Suite 5125)
Falls Church, VA 22042-5125

When Does the New Incentive Pay Start After Residency Graduation?

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It used to be that after you graduated residency you were immediately eligible to apply for the Additional Special Pay, which was paid in a lump sum of $15,000 and was commonly referred to as the “GMO bonus.”  The ASP no longer exists and that $15K is now lumped into the new Incentive Pay (IP).  Here is how that works for a new residency graduate straight from BUMED Special Pays, and I can only assume the same thing applies to interns who just became Flight Surgeons, UMOs, or GMOs:

“According to the FY17 Pay Guidance the earliest an individual is eligible for an IP rate is 3 months after they complete the qualifying training. For those that completed their residency 30 June 2017, the earliest they are eligible is 1 Oct 17, and since 1 Oct 17 is FY18 they will have to wait for the FY18 NAVADMIN to be released before they can submit to BUMED, provided they are privileged and practicing as well.”

While this may sound like you are losing out on 3 months of a $15K pay, BUMED pointed out that the old ASP used to require a 1 year commitment to receive it.  Frequently officers looking to resign/retire would have a dilemma in their last year where they might have to stick around a little longer in order to receive their ASP or decide to forgo it so they could get out when they wanted.

The new IP no longer has this problem as it is paid monthly once started, so you won’t have to deal with this dilemma anymore.  In other words, you’ll be able to resign/retire without having to make sure it meets the 1 year obligation of your last $15K bonus.  You give up short-term pay for long-term flexibility.

Special Pays Update

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Here is a brief update on the conversion to the new consolidated pay plan all the Specialty Leaders received yesterday from the Deputy Medical Corps Chief:

“I have heard from almost every corner of the MC community on the delays in payments starting for the new Incentive Pay and Retention Pays as has RDML Pearigen and BUMED leadership. I have raised it in every venue I represent the MC. The backlog is decreasing, but it is still 1­-2 months behind. I know as I am four months behind the start of my IP, so am part of the community pain. DFAS has taken steps (tripling the number of clerks processing Navy Medical Specialty Pays from 1 to 3). Mr. Marin tracks very carefully the pass through of the pay requests through M1 to DFAS and that is not where the problem has existed. It is simply a bottleneck at DFAS. This should be a start­up problem as the military transitioned to the new IP/RP system and schedule and we get past this initial bottleneck. Once we get to steady state we should not experience this level of delay again.”

Problems with the TSP and the New Consolidated Special Pays

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I was forwarded this message regarding a new problem with the Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) contributions and those converting to the new consolidated pay plan. I don’t fully understand it and was debating whether I should even post it, but I decided to do so. In my opinion, the take home messages are:

  • If you are contributing to the TSP using your special pays, you should probably just use a percentage of your base pay, if possible. This is what I do, and I converted to the new pay plan in June without any TSP issues.
  • If you don’t regularly check your TSP contributions, you probably should after you convert to the new pay plan.

Here is the message:

All, I was just apprised of this issue with TSP, and the new special pays, and wanted to get it out as quickly. This is very important and needs to get out ASAP. I am sure I have listed all command coordinators, so for NMC San Diego, and NMC Portsmouth, appreciate if you could send this to the Regional Command DFA, so they can get it out to all
the commands.

My office was not made aware of this issue until today. Due to workarounds DFAS has had to do, particularly for the MC and DC in order to pay what was previously MSP and DOMRB, it has effected individuals elections to TSP.

My office has nothing to do with TSP, and would not be able to answer any questions, or resolve any issues, so individuals need to contact their PSD, or email the DFAS TSP office at dfas.cleveland-oh.jfl.mbx.ccl-military-tsp@mail.mil.

DFAS has a draft message they will be releasing this weekend to the PSDs, but the important information individuals need to know about claiming TSP for the new pays, which is under paragraph 5 of the message is below. No one should be electing the legacy special pays anymore (A – C), so only (D -F) are the ones they should be concerning themselves with.

For MC and DC, what DFAS has done is convert all MSP and DOMRB to CRNA-ISP in their system to ensure anniversary payments are made. The reason is the DFAS system has a failsafe to prevent a non-MC or non-DC from receiving the pay, and that is the member must have a resident VSP in the system at the time the anniversary MSP or DOMRB payment is due. If the MC/DC officer has converting to the new CSP then their VSP was stopped, and the anniversary MSP/DOMRB payment would reject.

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WILL ASSIST WITH TSP ELECTION:
A. LEGACY BCP: SHOULD ELECT SPECIAL PAY FOR TSP CONTRIBUTION PURPOSES, ALONG WITH ITS PERCENTAGE.
B. LEGACY VSP DC: SHOULD ELECT SPECIAL PAY FOR TSP CONTRIBUTION PURPOSES, ALONG WITH ITS PERCENTAGE.
C. LEGACY VSP MC: SHOULD ELECT SPECIAL PAY FOR TSP CONTRIBUTION PURPOSES, ALONG WITH ITS PERCENTAGE.

D. HPO BCP: SHOULD ELECT INCENTIVE PAY FOR TSP CONTRIBUTION PURPOSES, ALONG WITH ITS PERCENTAGE.
E. HPO IP: SHOULD ELECT INCENTIVE PAY FOR TSP CONTRIBUTION PURPOSES, ALONG WITH ITS PERCENTAGE.
F. RETENTION BONUS: SHOULD ELECT SPECIAL PAY FOR TSP CONTRIBUTION PURPOSES, ALONG WITH ITS PERCENTAGE.

Again, if there are any questions they should be addressed to the PSD, or the DFAS TSP email Address above.

SEMPER FI!

William L. “Bill” Marin
Program Manager, Navy Medical Special Pays Program
Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (M13)
7700 Arlington Blvd. (Suite 5125)
Falls Church, VA 22042-5125

Special Pay Details and Request Templates

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The BUMED Special Pays site has been updated and now says this:

2 Dec 16: The FY17 NAVADMIN (262/17) was released on 1Dec16.  The attached FY17 Pay Plans are below, and explain the conversion and eligibility for the new Consolidated Special Pays.  All requests must be endorsed and emailed to the below email address along with any questions.

usn.ncr.bumedfchva.mbx.specialpays-bumed@mail.mil

In addition, here are some templates one of the officers in my community got from BUMED yesterday:

Board Certified Pay Request

Board Certified Pay CO Endorsement

Incentive Pay Request

Incentive Pay Request – CO Endorsement