Make sure you review your account every year
Reprinted from Defense Finance and Accounting Service
You’d notice if your banking information was wrong, wouldn’t you?
Probably, but there’s a lot of other important information to keep updated to make sure you’re getting all the retired pay you deserve. Keep your information current so that we can get in touch with you if there’s a problem with your account. Don’t let anything slip through the cracks!
Here’s a list of things to check at least once a year.
1. Update your address
You might be surprised to learn that we get a lot of returned mail. If you’ve moved and haven’t told us, we won’t know how to reach you. From an audit of your account to a returned payment, lots of things come up that we need to contact our members about. Make sure we have a way of reaching you that is current and correct! Log in to your myPay account and view your correspondence address as part of your annual account check-up.
For more ways to update your contact information, consult our website at http://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/manage/changeofaddress.html
2. Update your email address
Make sure we have an email address on file for you and that it is current. Email is our easiest and fastest way to communicate with our members. If we have your email address on file, you will hear news faster and get more details when it arrives. So go paperless and stay in the know!
Take a minute right now and check to make sure your email addresses are current. At the bottom of your myPay account menu, select “Email Address” to view the email addresses you have on file with us. Make sure you indicate the primary email address you want us to use, and check the box to indicate if the address is still valid. Delete any old email addresses you no longer use.
3. Check your state and federal income tax withholding
If your income changes or if you move to another state, you should look at any federal or state income tax withholding information we have in your account.
Don’t wait until April 15th to discover we’ve been deducting taxes for a state you no longer have to file in!
You can verify and update your tax withholding information yourself in myPay. Click on your Federal Withholding to see if your marital status and number of exemptions are correct. Then click on your State Withholding to make sure both the state and the amount are what you want.
4. Review your allotments
Review your allotments at least once a year. Check each allotment and your allotment amounts. Make sure each allotment is current and the amount is correct. If you need to stop, start, or change an allotment, see our instructions in this issue on how to update allotments using myPay. http://www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/manage/allotments.html
Finally, please keep in mind that not all allotments are listed in myPay. Some common allotments that are not shown on myPay include Delta Dental, Tricare and NSGLI, all of which are listed in your latest eRAS. As part of your yearly audit, you should review your monthly eRAS and verify any allotments that you can’t change on myPay by contacting that company or organization directly.
5. Have there been changes in your family?
When you get married, lose a spouse or have children, the change can affect your account. From federal income tax withholding to Survivor Benefit Plan costs, the amount of retired pay you receive each month can change.
If there have been any changes in your family, please send us a copy of the official documentation (marriage license, divorce decree, death certificate or birth certificate), as well as a request for how you want us to update your account.
Always notify DFAS as soon as possible about a major life change. You can fax your documents to 1-800-469-6559 or mail them to DFAS, PO Box 7130, London, KY 40742-7130. Always make sure your Social Security Number is clearly visible on each document so we will know whose account to update.
6. Check your beneficiary designations
Lastly, who have you chosen as a beneficiary for any arrears of retired pay when you die? Make sure you’re still satisfied with your designation and check your address book to confirm that their addresses are up to date. If you have any questions about what this benefit may be, please see the “Educate Your Beneficiaries” article in this newsletter.
You can check this information by clicking on the Beneficiary for Arrears link in myPay. Now you can even make changes to your designations and update their address information through myPay.
So pick a date! It doesn’t matter if it’s your retirement date, birthday or the first of the year. Set a yearly reminder to look over your account to make sure your account is up to date!