A new policy issued last week by the Department of Defense (DoD) asks servicemembers, government civilians and retirees to obtain need pay documents from an online web site the American Forces Information Service.
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Users logging on to myPay after September 1, are consenting to receive electronic copies of the leave and earnings statements (LES) and W-2 statements rather than paper statements. The myPay site can also be used to check account information and make changes to allotments or direct deposits. Having DoD customers access pay documents online aims to save millions of dollars while decreasing identity theft risks. There are additional benefits as well.
“In cases of emergencies or disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, customers can access their personal pay account information and know that their payroll was processed and if they need to make changes to allotments or direct deposits, they can do so online. The convenience of myPay is being able to access pay account information anywhere and any time as long as a person has access to a computer and the Internet,” states DFAS Corporate Communications spokeswoman Carol Garcia.
MyPay is available to all DoD servicemembers, civilian employees, military retirees and annuitants. Participation is mandatory for military servicemenbers and civilian non-bargaining unit employees. Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) customers can opt to request hard-copy W-2s and LES, however, they are urged to use the myPay system and help the government save money. The electronic W-2 is acceptable for all income tax purposes and is sanctioned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
American Forces Information Services reports that using the online systems also assures that personal data such as Social Security Numbers are viewed and accessed on by the customer since the myPay systems contains numerous security features.
“MyPay combines a 128-bit encryption software and Secure Socket Layers (SSL) technology with the user’s social security number, PIN and secure web address or DoD-specific telephone number all acting as safeguards against unauthorized access. This combination prevents information from being retrieved by outside sources while the information is being transmitted. The secure technology provided to myPay customers meets or exceeds security standards in private industry,” Garcia states.