CLEVELAND – Recoupment of military Retirees’ Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI), Special Separation Benefit (SSB) and other separation payments by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service will resume in August 2010.
VSI, SSB and certain other separation payments, such as severance pay, were offered to active duty military members in an effort to reduce manpower in certain career fields, primarily during the 1990s. Because federal law prohibits military members from receiving both separation and retirement payments for the same period of service, provisions of these programs included repayment should an individual join the Ready Reserve or return to active duty and earn status as a military Retiree.
On June 1, 2009, in response to Retirees’ concerns, DFAS temporarily stopped deducting these repayments from retirement pay while DoD conducted a formal review of the recoupment program. Prior to the review, the federal statutes governing these programs did not allow DoD or DFAS to alter repayment rates or provide alternative repayment plans regardless of the financial hardships a Retiree may have been experiencing.
The DoD review is complete, and Congress has amended Sections 1174(h) and 1175(e) of Title 10, United States Code, to help limit the financial strain on military Retirees as they repay their outstanding balances. The new statutes allow DFAS more flexibility to accommodate for financial hardship and modify repayment plans. As a result, DFAS has reduced the maximum recoupment rate from 90 percent to 40 percent. DFAS also will consider more lenient repayment plans for Retirees who are experiencing financial hardships
Affected Retirees will receive notification letters at least 90 days before recoupments resume. If they feel the rates of recoupment will create financial hardships, they may request more lenient repayment plans by providing financial information on the Financial Statement of Debtor forms enclosed with the notification letters.
This monthly recoupment may also affect former spouses who receive Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act payments from such Retirees. Former spouses affected by this recoupment also will receive a notification letter prior to the resumption of recoupments.
MyPay – Secure, Immediate Link to Your Account
INDIANAPOLIS – When the Defense Finance and Accounting Service first launched the myPay Web-based pay account system in 2000, less than 500,000 military, military Retirees, annuitants and federal civilian employees were listed as online users. Today that number includes 3.7 million users with access to pay account information, tax statements and the ability to update their bank, personal and allotment information instantly and, most importantly, securely.
Recently, DFAS implemented a myPay security enhancement requiring users to establish new login credentials, including personalized login IDs and passwords. The agency posted step-by-step instructions in both text and video at the myPay site (https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx) and its public website (www.dfas.mil) to help customers set up their new information.
Users of myPay have greater control over their pay accounts and can make changes to vital information in a very secure environment. Some of the options within myPay include:
• Download, save and print pay account information from military Retired or annuitant account statements, or military/federal employee leave and earning statements.
• Download, save and print annual tax statements such as W-2s and 1099Rs.
• Verify and update postal and e-mail addresses.
• Verify and update bank account information for direct deposit.
• Start, change or stop financial allotments.
• Make changes to federal or state tax withholding amounts.
• Change user names and passwords to keep accounts secure.
While the options may vary from one customer category to another, all myPay users can establish alternate login credentials for use by Family members, tax preparers or others they trust to view account information and download tax statements.
While DFAS maintains some of the more traditional methods of submitting changes to customer information or inquiring about pay issues such as fax, call centers and mail, the myPay system provides a faster and more efficient means to communicate with their payroll service provider.
Retiree Appreciation Days
Retiree Appreciation Days (RADs) are designed with you in mind. They’re a great source of the latest information for Retirees and Family members in your area. RADs vary from installation to installation, but, in general, they provide an opportunity to renew acquaintances, listen to guest speakers, renew ID Cards, get medical checkups and access various other services. Some RADs include special events such as dinners or golf tournaments. For more information, contact the Retirement Services Officer (RSO) sponsoring the RAD.