March 25, 2003
MEMORANDUM FOR SEE DISTRIBUTION
SUBJECT: Rights and Benefits of Army Nonappropriated Fund (NAF) Employees Called
to Active Duty
The following information is provided as a general, non-technical overview of some of the rights and benefits of NAF employees covered under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) who are called to active duty (voluntarily or involuntarily). Some actions are time sensitive. Individuals called to active duty should contact their servicing NAF Civilian Personnel Units for individual counseling before reporting to active duty, and upon their release from active duty.
- PAY. Employees performing active military duty will receive compensation from the Armed Forces in accordance with the terms and conditions of their military enlistment or commission. They will not receive compensation from their NAFI employer; however, such employees must be permitted, upon request, to use any accrued annual leave, sick leave (if appropriate), or military leave, during this period of uniformed service.
- MILITARY LEAVE. Regular employees may request paid military leave in accordance with Army Regulation (AR) 215-3, para 5-38.
An eligible full-time employee accrues 15 days (120 hours) of military leave each fiscal year. In addition, an employee may carry over up to 15 days (120 hours) of unused military leave from one fiscal year to the next. When the 15 days of military leave that are carried over are combined with the 15 days of military leave accrued at the beginning of the new fiscal year, this produces a maximum military leave benefit of 30 days in a fiscal year. However, since an employee cannot carry over more than 15 calendar days to the next fiscal year, any unused military leave in excess of 15 days will be forfeited at the beginning of the next fiscal year. Part-time career employees accrue military leave on a prorated basis. Employees who elect to use military leave will receive full compensation from their civilian position for each hour charged to military leave, in addition to their military pay for the same period. Charges for military leave are to be made on an hour for hour basis for all hours the employee would have worked.
Regular civilian employees who are called to active military duty for the purpose of providing military aid to enforce the law shall be granted additional military leave, not to exceed 22 workdays in a calendar year, upon presentation of competent military orders. The employee's civilian pay is reduced by the amount of military pay for these additional days of military leave. An employee may choose not to take military leave under this authority and instead take annual leave in order to retain both civilian and military pay for the covered period.
- ANNUAL LEAVE. Employees who perform active military duty may request the use of accrued and accumulated annual leave to their credit and such requests must be granted by the employing NAFI. Subject to the provisions of AR 215-3 para 5-12b, requests for advanced annual leave may be granted at the NAFI discretion. Employees who use annual leave will receive compensation from their civilian position for all hours charged to annual leave in addition to their military pay for the same period.
- LEAVE WITHOUT PAY (LWOP). In accordance with 5 Code of Federal Regulations §353.106(a), an employee absent because of uniformed service is to be carried on leave without pay unless the employee elects to use other leave, or freely and knowingly provides written notice of intent not to return to a position of employment with the agency, in which case the employee can be separated. Since annual and sick leave accrues for regular employees only for hours in a pay status (excluding overtime hours worked in excess of 40 hours during the basic workweek), employees do not earn any annual or sick leave in a pay period in which they are carried in a LWOP status for the entire pay period.
- LUMP-SUM LEAVE PAYMENTS. Employees who enter into active military duty may receive a lump-sum payment for accrued and accumulated annual leave only if separated from service with the NAFI.
- HEALTH BENEFITS. Employees absent due to military service may elect to continue their health benefits coverage for up to 18 months after their leave of absence begins or for the period of service (plus the time allowed to apply for reemployment), whichever period is shorter.
Note that members of the National Guard and Reserves who are called to active duty for more than 30 days, and their family members, are eligible for TRICARE (including TRICARE Prime and, if applicable, TRICARE Prime Remote).
Should an employee elect not to continue coverage, reenrollment is generally permitted upon return to NAF civilian employment, without waiting for an Open Enrollment Period.
Pursuant to DoD policy, the NAFI will be responsible for the employee's share of health benefits premiums, in addition to the employer's share, for up to 18 months for each period of service when a covered employee is called to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days in support of a designated contingency operation.
- LIFE INSURANCE. Under the terms of the group insurance policy, an employee may continue their life insurance for up to 12 months while in a LWOP status if serving on active duty. There is no war exclusion clause for basic or optional life insurance, but there is a war exclusion for accidental death and dismemberment benefits.
- RETIREMENT. During the period protected by USERRA that an employee is carried on LWOP, the employee remains in continuous service status. Duplicate NAFI service credits will not be granted for the same period of time.
No contributions are made while the employee is in a non-pay status. Contributions, benefits and service credits are made with respect to qualified military service in accordance with USERRA and the NAF Retirement Plan. Affected employees should contact the NAF Employee Benefits Office for individual guidance and application upon reemployment.
- NAF 401 (k) SAVINGS PLAN. Participants on military furlough will earn time credit for vesting, but may not contribute to the plan during periods in a non-pay status. The individual's account will remain in an active status without contributions, and the account continues to accumulate earnings. Lump sum distributions are not allowed, but the loan program is available.
Upon reemployment, the employee can make up contributions over three times the period of the military service, but no longer than five years. The NAFI is liable for the corresponding matching contributions.
- RETURN TO NAF CIVILIAN DUTY. Upon reemployment, an employee covered by USERRA generally is entitled to be treated as though he or she had never left for purposes of rights and benefits based upon length of service. This means that the time spent in the military will be credited for such purposes as seniority, successive within-grade increases, probation, annual leave accrual rate, and severance pay. An employee who was on a time-limited appointment serves out the remaining time, if any, left on the appointment. (The military service period does not extend the appointment.) Returning employees are protected from separation by business-based action for a period of 1 year after exercising their reemployment rights under USERRA if their period of uniformed service was more than 180 days, or for 6 months after exercising their reemployment rights if the uniformed service was more than 30 days, but less than 181 days.
- DOCUMENTING PERSONNEL ACTIONS. When an employee is called to active duty, the servicing personnel office must process a DA Form 3434, Notification of Personnel Action - Nonappropriated Fund Employee, using Nature of Action Code A085, "Furlough - Military" (unless the employee has requested and is being separated). The effective date of the action will be the date the employee reports for active military service, regardless of leave status with the NAFI. The employee determines which leave status is most personally advantageous, but remarks, such as one of the following, must be included in item 25 on the DA Form 3434 to reflect the employee's leave choices:
- Employee requests use of annual leave until exhausted, followed by (enter number) hours/days of military leave. The remainder of the military furlough will be in a LWOP status.
- Employee requests use of annual leave until exhausted. The remainder of the military furlough will be in a LWOP status.
- Employee requests military leave for (enter number) of hours/days. The remainder of the military furlough will be in a LWOP status.
- Employee requests LWOP for the entire military furlough.
- Employee requests use of (enter number) hours/days of military leave followed by annual leave until exhausted. The remainder of the military furlough will be in a LWOP status.
- Supervisors must complete a time and attendance report for each pay period the employee is on a military furlough.
- The points of contact for these matters are Ms. Patricia Sanders at DSN 221-7765 for NAF HR Policy and Mr. Ron Courtney for administration of employee benefits at DSN 761-7260.
FOR THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, G-1:
Sandra G. Curran
Director, NAF Human Resources
Policies and Program Division
OFFICE, SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (JDPES-W)
U. S ARMY INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AGENCY HEADQUARTERS (SFIM-HR)
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U.S. ARMY INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMAND (IAPER-CP)
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DOD STARS AND STRIPES PUBLISHER (MR. THOMAS E. KELSCH)
DEFENSE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING SERVICES (DFAS)
DRAGON HILL LODGE
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