Time for a Mid-Year Retired Pay Account Checkup
It’s important for retirees to regularly review and update their retired pay account. Keeping your account current will ensure that DFAS can get in touch with you if there is information you need to know about your retired pay and help make sure that outdated information doesn’t cause difficulties for you or your loved ones down the road.
Use this handy checklist to do a retired pay checkup at least once a year. A good time to do it is just after you finish your tax preparation, since you’ll have the documents handy. Or, you can do it at any time that is convenient for you by using myPay.
1. Is your mailing address current?
You might be surprised to learn DFAS gets a lot of returned mail. If you moved and haven’t told us, we won’t know how to reach you. Let's keep the lines of communication open! You can easily log in to your myPay account and check “Correspondence Address” under “Pay Changes” on the side menu as part of the annual account check-up: https://mypay.dfas.mil
Or, check your mailing address on your Retiree Account Statement.
2. Is your email address in myPay current?
Make sure you have an email address in myPay and that it is current. Email is the easiest and fastest way to communicate. If we have an email address, you will hear news faster.
It only takes a minute to check your email address in myPay. At the top of the myPay account menu, select “Personal Settings” and then in the side menu on the left, select “Email Address” to view the email address(es) on file with DFAS. 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.
If you did not receive a SmartDoc email that this newsletter is now available online, that means either you do not have an email address in myPay or that email address is not current. If you have a valid email address in myPay, you can receive notification about the DFAS Retiree Newsletter and about your branch of service retiree newsletter, as well as information about your pay account.
3. Are your allotments correct?
Review your allotments at least once a year. Look under “Pay Changes” for “Allotments” in the menu on the left side of the myPay account. Check each allotment and the allotment amounts. Make sure each allotment is current and the amount is correct. You might also consider moving allotments for bill payments to your online bank account where you would have more control and flexibility in the timing and changes to your payments.
Please keep in mind that some allotments cannot be changed using myPay. These include allotments that are paid via paper check, those for your federal benefits, such as FEDVIP, Tricare and NSGLI, and those that are not voluntary allotments.
If you have a question about allotments for your federal benefits, please contact that organization directly. DFAS cannot answer questions about or make changes to your federal benefit allotments. If you have a question about an allotment that cannot be changed in myPay, please contact our Customer Care Center.
4. Is your income tax withholding correct?
If your income changes, you move to another state, or there are changes in the tax laws, you should look at the federal or state income tax withholding information in your account.
As you know, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 brought many changes, some of them quite recently.
One is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a new 2020 IRS Form W-4 that is quite different than previous Form W-4s. We were delayed for a period of time earlier this year in processing new Form W-4s sent by retirees because the form required extensive system reprogramming due to the considerable changes. We were also delayed in changing the myPay self-serve area for tax withholding to match the new tax year format.
At the end of June, the system reprogramming and the myPay revised federal tax withholding area will both be in place, so that you can make changes to your federal withholding in myPay based on the new 2020 IRS Form W-4. For some retirees who already sent us a new 2020 IRS Form W-4, you may notice that your federal tax withholding looks slightly different after June 30.
Another change is that recent tax tables from the IRS created some withholding changes, even for those who did not request a change to their individual withholding. Some retirees have contacted DFAS because they were concerned about those changes.
After June 30, you can verify and update your tax withholding information yourself in myPay. Click on “Federal Withholding” or “State Withholding” under “Pay Changes” in the menu on the left to see if your withholding meets your current need.
You may also mail or fax us a new 2020 IRS Form W-4 to request a change your federal withholding.
DFAS is unable to provide tax advice. If you have tax or withholding questions, we recommend you consult a tax professional or the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov. You can also use the IRS estimator at: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-withholding-estimator
5. Have you had any major life changes?
If you get married, lose a spouse, or have a child, that change can affect your account. Changes may need to be made to your Survivor Benefit Plan information or your Arrears of Pay beneficiary.
To make changes to your Survivor Benefit Plan coverage, please send DFAS a copy of the official documentation (marriage license, divorce decree, death certificate or birth certificate), along with the request to update your account.
Retirees should always notify DFAS as soon as possible about a major life change.
6. Is your Arrears of Pay beneficiary correct?
Retirees should choose a beneficiary for any arrears of retired pay that may be due when they pass away. Make sure the designation is current and confirm that the beneficiary’s address is up to date.
You can check this information by clicking on the “Beneficiary for Arrears” link under “Pay Changes” in the menu on the left side of your account in myPay. Beneficiary designation changes can be made through myPay, as well as updating the beneficiary’s address information.
Also, please see the article in this issue, “Make the Payment of Your Final Paycheck Easier for Your Loved Ones.”
7. Is your Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage and beneficiary correct?
Your Retiree Account Statement (RAS), available in myPay, has a lot of information on it about pay, deductions, taxes and SBP. The SBP section has five lines on it for members who participate in SBP. The most important information for you to check: type of coverage, and date of birth of your spouse beneficiary (if applicable).
What’s new in myPay
As you know, the myPay refresh last year made myPay even more mobile-friendly. That means it’s easier to view your retired pay account information and make changes on your mobile device.
You can also add a mobile phone number (domestic numbers only) to receive key myPay messages via text.
If you’re not yet using myPay, it’s easy to get started. We have a downloadable step-by-step How to Get Started with myPay PDF on our website and a How-To video on our YouTube channel at: www.YouTube.com/DFAS
New Transaction History in myPay
myPay now has a Transaction History feature available in your account. Transaction history allows you to view transactions that you have completed within the last 13 months, beginning with any transactions you submit today or in the future.
The History includes transactions that are “In Process” and transactions that are “Sent to Pay System.”
Transactions that are identified as “In Process” have not yet been sent to your pay system and you may cancel the transaction prior to 11:59 pm Eastern on the day of entry.
Transactions identified as “Sent to Pay System” have already been sent to your pay system for processing. Your RAS will be your confirmation of what was processed.
Make a plan to review your pay account information regularly
Pick a date to review your retired pay account information. It doesn’t matter if it’s your retirement anniversary date, birthday, first of the year, or tax time. Set a yearly reminder to look over information to make sure your account is up to date.
Page last updated on June 17, 2020