DCRT WWW Service Gives Employees Easy Access
By Joan Chamberlain
"What will my monthly income be if I retire 5 years from now? What will my heirs receive from FEGLI if I die tomorrow? What does the government contribute to my health insurance or Thrift Savings Plan?" Not long ago, questions like these could only be answered by your ICD personnel specialist unless you were ready to do some heavy research on your own. But thanks to the World Wide Web and a new DCRT service, many NIH staff now have immediate access to customized personnel information from their desktop computers.
"The system gives employees fast, secure access to updated information about benefits, salary, awards, leave, savings, performance, and retirement," says Jack Vinner, who led the DCRT team that designed the Human Resource Information and Benefits System (HRIBS). "The information is updated quickly, and an online calculator gives retirement estimates in seconds." The retirement estimates apply only to federal employees enrolled in CSRS or FERS, not to contractors, visiting fellows, or members of the Commissioned Corps.
To use the system, staff in participating ICDs need a DCRT mainframe account or PIN number and access to the Web with a graphical Web browser such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer. There is no additional software to buy or install. Available 24 hours a day, the system provides links to other useful Web sites such as the Social Security Administration, where an employee can request an estimate of Social Security benefits, and the Office of Personnel Management, which provides information about pay scales and open seasons for health insurance.
"Staff who've used it have found it extremely useful, especially those who are contemplating retirement," says Howard Chernoff, head of the NIGMS Human Resources Office. "It's a tool that enables people at a glance to find out a lot about their own personnel situation." NIGMS is one of 11 ICDs including NIAID, NIAMS, NICHD, NIDA, NIDR, NHLBI, NIMH, NLM, DCRT, and ORS that provide the service to their employees.
For a demonstration, see http://eos4.dcrt.nih.gov/dcrthr/ and click on Human Resource Information and Benefits. When prompted for an account, enter ZHRSrb7 and for password, enter HRIBS2.
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