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VA News
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SSA News
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Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS)

Military retired pay is handled through DFAS in Cleveland, Ohio. The easiest way to manage your retired pay is by using myPay (link in navigation bar above), the online account management system. To use myPay you must have a personal identification number (PIN). When the original online account management system, known as Employee/Member Self-Service System (EMSS), was started, all retirees received a temporary PIN. If you never used it, but still have the notification letter, you can use it to log on and create a new PIN. If you don't have a PIN, never received the letter or did not keep the letter, you can apply at myPay and request a temporary PIN to access your account through myPay. A new PIN will be mailed to you.

It's important that you keep two pieces of information current with DFAS. The first is your mailing address. This is necessary for DFAS to contact you and is also used to mail your service retiree newsletter (Army Echoes, Air Force Afterburner, Navy Shift Colors and Marine Corps Semper Fidelis.) The second piece of information that you must keep up to date is the beneficiary information for your retired pay. In the event of your death, the retired pay due to you from the first of the month to the date of death is paid to the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by you. To update your beneficiary information, complete and mail this form to DFAS (also available in Applying for ..., at the left). You should also check out the Korea Casualty information (button at left) to see what your survivors might and might not receive when you die.

Calling DFAS Toll Free from Korea

Updated 6-03-10 If you have a problem and need to talk to someone at DFAS, you can now dial toll-free from Korea. Here's how:

Thanks to RSO Rey Esguerra for providing this useful and money-saving information.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The VA pays disability compensation to veterans who have been evaluated and determined to have a service connected disability. For current payments according to disability rating percentage go to the VA web site in navigation bar above.

Legislation in 2001 and 2002 authorized a special compensation for veterans who retired and received a disability rating of 60% or higher within four years of retirement. Payment rates effective in 2003 are as follows:

Legislation signed into law in 2003 and becoming effective January 1, 2004 authorized concurrent receipt of retired pay and VA disability pay to be restored over a 10-year phase in period. Combat Related Special Compensation was also extended to all retirees with rated disabilities incurred in combat, combat training, or related activities. See VA News for more information.

Application forms for various VA benefits are available at Applying for ..., at the left.

Navy Federal Credit Union Direct Deposit Forms

updated 10-28-10 Starting in October 2010, the Navy Federal Credit Union is replacing the USA Federal Credit Union to provide services to retirees, their families and survivors living in Korea and other Western Pacific areas. This changeover should be completed by the end of this year, and credit union account holders will have to change their direct deposits to the new account number and routing number for the Navy Federal Credit Union. Starting Nov 8, Navy Federal Credit Union teams will be at USA Fed branches to assist customers in processing the changes.

To assist you in this process, two direct deposit forms are available for your use. The first is the general form (fillable) for use with most payments such as military retired pay, civil service pay, Social Security and annuitant payments (except VA). The second is for use only with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (fillable) and is used for VA disability pay and VA annuitant pay such an Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Death Pension (DP). The Navy Federal Credit Union address and routing number are pre-entered for your convenience. You must add all the other information including your new account number and you can then send the form to the agency providing the payments. A separate form must be prepared for each agency, and for multiple accounts with an agency, a separate form is required for each account.

Social Security Administration (SSA)

Social Security retirement benefits are paid to anyone who has paid FICA tax for at least 40 quarters of work (equal to 10 years). The longer you work and the higher your pay, the higher the Social Security benefits you can earn. Social Security retirement benefits can be started as early as age 62. Delaying the start of benefits increases the amount you can receive, and the benefits increase up to age 70. If you are working and take early benefits, you are penalized until you reach full retirement age. For an explanation of Social Security retirement benefits and full retirement age, as well as benefits for dependents and survivors, you can view a briefing, Decisions on Security Security, created by the RAO. (Be sure to check out the briefer's notes below each slide for a discussion of the slide topics.) If you work for a foreign employer and decide to take early retirement benefits, benefits will not be paid for any month in which you work more than 45 hours. This restriction goes away when you reach full retirement age.

Social Security disability benefits are paid to qualified individuals who are unable to perform substantially gainful employment.

Although the Social Security web site provides for on-line application, it can only be done for people living in the U.S. If you wish to apply for Social Security benefits, you must do so by mail and only sample forms are available at the Social Security web site. It is best to download those forms from Applying for ... at the left to record the information, then arrange to visit the Military Retiree Asssitance Office (MRAO) to complete the application process. Although you can deal directly with Social Security through their office in Manila, that can be a slow process because of the additional supporting documents required in the Philippines. The MRAO can speed up the process by ensuring that the claims package contains all the forms and supporting documents that the SSA Manila office requires.

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

OPM manages the civil service retirement system. Korea retirees who have earned civil service retirement benefits (Civil Service Retirement System, CSRS, or Federal Employees Retirement System, FERS) may not always be able to receive assistance from their local civilian personnel office once they have retired. If this happens, contact the MRAO for assistance. Beneficiary designation forms for CSRS and FERS are available at Applying for ..., at the left.

2009 Tax Form, Pay Statement Availability Schedule

updated 12-05-09 Air Force retirees with a myPay online account can now download their annual account statements. Annuitant statements will be available online Dec. 14.

There will not be a cost-of-living adjustment increase for military retirees or annuitants in 2010. COLA increases are determined each year based on the rise in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers. The Department of Labor calculates the change in the CPI for goods and services from the third quarter average of the previous year to the third quarter average for the current year.

Internal Revenue Service 1099R forms for retirees and annuitants will be posted Dec. Dec. 14.

Retirees who rely on the U.S. Postal Service for DFAS correspondence can expect to see their account statements soon as they are now in the mail, while tax forms will be mailed Dec. 11. For annuitants, account statements and 1099R forms begin mailing Dec. 14. Statements and forms are mailed to the address on file with DFAS.

Retirees with questions about account statements or tax forms should call the DFAS Contact Center at 800-321-1080. (Courtesy of DFAS)

Air Force Retiree News Service Release 12-02-09, Dec 3

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

updated 2-13-09 If you have a problem with the IRS that you cannot resolve, you can receive assistance from the MRAO. To allow the MRAO to deal with the IRS on your behalf, you must complete the Power of Attorney (IRS Form 2848) and Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 8821), both computer-fillable, and provide them to the MRAO to send to the IRS.

Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

8-05-06 Identity theft can happen to anyone. So what do you do if it happens to you? Here's a handy information checklist on what to do if it happens to you, and how you can protect yourself to reduce the likelihood that it could happen to you.

United States Treasury Savings Bonds

4-23-06 My latest AARP Bulletin has an item about unclaimed savings bonds. The web site is where you enter your SSN and it comes back with a hit or no hit. If it's a hit, you are asked to enter contact information (name, address, phone number, e-mail address) that Treasury will use to let you know what they found. They require a stateside phone number (I gave my sister's).

I tried it and got a hit. So now I will wait to find out whether I'll be able to buy that $5 million home my sister is advertising on her real estate web site.

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