It pays to visit the DFAS representative at Retiree Appreciation Day

Oct. 13, 2011


By
U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

HEIDELBERG, Germany – A Defense Finance and Accounting Service-Cleveland representative is scheduled to visit U.S. Army in Europe garrisons during their Retiree Appreciation days from Oct. 15 through 29.

The DFAS-Cleveland representative will conduct one-on-one pay record audits and answer general financial questions for retirees, annuitants and survivors, said Michael Malone, the Installation Management Command-Europe retirement services officer.

“The DFAS-Cleveland representative is the most important service available to retirees,” Malone said. We’re not getting enough people to realize that they should go out and see him. Even if your pay records are correct, it’s a good peace of mind to know that your records are updated and you don’t have to worry about it.”

In the past five years, the DFAS representative has helped more than 1,600 retirees recover over $600,000 in back pay and allowances. Malone said there are approximately 10,000 retirees in the IMCOM-E footprint, so there are many retirees who could still potentially benefit from this service.

According to Malone, the DFAS representative can start and stop allotments, as well as stop the survivor benefit plan with a death certificate or divorce decree for the spouse. The representative can also change banking information, corresponding address, state and federal tax information and arrears of pay beneficiary.

Failure to update pay records with the DFAS representative may result in the wrong person receiving a retiree’s annuities, survivor benefit plan and arrears of pay beneficiary.

Malone said there have been cases where retirees have divorced and remarried but didn’t update their pay records, and the wrong spouse was compensated after the retiree’s death.

He added that some military members list their parents or siblings as beneficiaries early in their careers. Then, they get married, don’t update their pay records, unexpectedly die, and their surviving spouses aren’t compensated.

“Retirees think that the ID card section automatically updates their military pay records, but it doesn’t do that,” Malone said. “You have to request for that information to be changed.”

Retirees can update their pay records by attending a local garrison Retirement Appreciation Day.

Retiree Appreciation days provide retirees, annuitants and survivors the opportunity to receive all services, such as ID card, passport, Army Community Services, bank and customs, said Malone. He added that the Federal Benefits Units from Frankfurt or Rome will attend all events to assist with questions and issues about Social Security and the Veterans Administration.

“Retiree Appreciation Day brings the services to the retirees,” Malone said. “The retirees don’t have to go to the services.”

Scheduled Retiree Appreciation days are:

  • Oct. 15 Heidelberg - Patrick Henry Village Pavilion, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Oct. 20 Vicenza - Luna Bubble Annex, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Oct. 21 Grafenwoehr - Building 244
  • Oct. 22 Schweinfurt - Building 30 at Conn Barracks, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Oct. 26 Ansbach – Location to be determined, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Oct. 27 Stuttgart - Event Center at Patch Barracks, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Oct. 29 Benelux - Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Chapel, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Oct. 29 Baumholder - Dental Clinic, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Additional scheduled DFAS-Cleveland representative dates:

  • Oct. 14 Ramstein - Retirement Services Office, 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Oct. 14 Kaiserslautern – RSO Office in Building 3245 at Kleber Kaserne, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 Schinnen – RSO Office in the Headquarters Building, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 18  Wiesbaden – RSO Office in Building 1023W, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Oct. 24 Hohenfels – RSO Office in Building 10, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Oct. 25 Bamberg – RSO Office in Building 7290 at Warner Barracks, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

More information about retirement services is available at the IMCOM-E Retirement Services Office website at www.imcom-europe.army.mil/webs/sites/europe_life/retiree/index.html.