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Career Status Bonus Facts

Published Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:30:16 CDT

Introduction

Career Status Bonuses (CSB) are available to personnel who entered uniformed service on or after 1 August 1986. The CSB gives personnel the option to receive at the 15-year active duty point a $30,000 lump sum payment and in return agree to remain on active duty for 20 years and become subject to the REDUX retirement plan (Retired Pay multiplier reduced by one percentage point for each year less than 30 year retirement and lifetime reduction in annual Retired Pay COLA increases). Those members who do not elect to take the CSB lump sum payment remain in the full high 36-month Basic Pay average system (known as the High-3) retirement plan currently available to personnel who entered a uniformed service on or after 8 September 1980. The CSB is governed by U.S. Code, Title 37, Section 322. Active duty personnel who first entered a uniformed service prior to 8 September 1980 are not eligible for either of the aforementioned retirement plans. Reservists eligible for non-regular (Reserve) retirement are not eligible for the CSB/REDUX retirement plan.

CSB Determination

Each individual's unique circumstance will determine which retirement option is better. The CSB/REDUX option should be carefully considered for individuals who are planning longer careers. The multiplier under CSB/REDUX comes closer to the High-3 percent retirement plan multiplier the longer the individual stays in beyond 20 years, and finally the multipliers become equal at 30 years. Also, everyone that invests the bonus would have 5 to 15 years of compounded savings accumulated at their retirement point. Personnel must decide on making a CSB election between 14 years, 6 months and 15 years of active service. Another consideration concerning CSB/REDUX election is that the annual COLA for the REDUX retirement method is reduced by one percentage point below the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) with a one-time rate correction at age 62; under the High-3 retirement system the Retired Pay COLA is equal to the annual CPI percentage.

CSB $30,000 Lump Sum Tax Rates

The CSB is taxed at your federal and, if applicable, state tax rate. Upon receipt, the portion not placed into the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) will be subject to normal withholding rules. Should this exceed your tax rate, you would have excess returned in your federal tax refund. You also may shelter up to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) maximum by placing the lump sum into a TSP account. Other rules and limits may apply to those in receipt of non-taxable pays in a Combat Zone or Qualified Hazardous Duty Area. For more information, go online to the Thrift Savings Plan web site.

CSB Cancellation

You cannot change your CSB election, even if you return the career status bonus money. Your election is not considered a final decision until you complete your 15th year of active service.

Separation after CSB

Generally speaking, if you fail to complete 20 years, by law, you are required to return a pro-rated share (unearned portion) of the CSB for the time you did not complete the agreed upon service. The pro-rated amount would be forgiven in cases of death, disability retirement, or separation under a service program where you requested to separate or retire early under a special voluntary strength reduction program such as Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA). Other involuntary separations, such as failure to meet weight standards, alcohol rehabilitation failure, non-medical behavioral disorders, disciplinary or conduct action, or failure to make high-year tenure promotion points will result in recoupment of the unearned portion of the CSB.

CSB Application

PPC (MAS) sends the CSB Election Form, CG-2426 for Eligible Career Status Bonus members to an active duty member's unit six months prior to the member's fifteenth active duty anniversary. Complete the application and return it to PPC for processing. Reservists who happen to have 15 years active duty and are on an ADOS contract that will not let them complete at least 20 years active duty are not eligible for CSB/REDUX and if they receive an application by mistake should not submit it.

OSD CSB Information

Information on CSB can be found on the Office of the Secretary of Defense Military Compensation CSB/REDUX Costs and Benefits.


Late Reporting of Leave Transactions Continues Despite Technology Boost

Published Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:30:16 CDT

Thousands of leave requests remain unprocessed by unit approvers.

In March of 2012 the Coast Guard announced the deployment of the Absence Request component in Direct Access (DA). The new self-service functionality was developed and implemented to "simplify and improve the timeliness of military leave transactions" (ALCOAST 135/12).

The goal "to process leave transactions within 2 days" (ALCOAST 135/12) has not been achieved. In fact, just the opposite has occurred. There are over 7,000 absence requests dating from March 2012 to present in a pending status. The pending status is used to reflect requests that have been submitted but not yet acted upon. Each pending request has the potential to present complications and impacts to pay if not resolved before the transition to DA 9.1 on 02 January 2015, announced by the Coast Guard in May of this year (ALCOAST 203/14).

You can help reduce the number of outstanding, unprocessed, leave requests. If you submitted an Absence Request for leave you didn't take or if you requested leave that was charged on PCS orders, logon to DA and withdraw the request. If you are a leave approver for your command, logon on to DA and review requests that have been submitted to you. Units are encouraged to run the DA "Monitor Absence Request Report", at least once a week. The Monitor Absence Request Report provides the unit with a way monitor their members' electronic absences.

Follow these links for more information on the actions you need to take now to address this issue:

Contact PPC Customer Care at (866) 772-8724/(785) 339-2200 if you have any questions or need assistance.


PPC HCMS/Global Pay Webinar Today at 1300 (CDT)

Published Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:30:16 CDT

The U.S. Coast Guard is six months away from the go-live launch of the Human Capital Management System/Global Pay (HCMS/GP) initiative. In order to provide the very best of services to all end users of the system, PPC Procedures and Development (P&D) is holding a virtual session today at 1300 (CDT) to begin the conversation about the software conversion. Please select the following link to join the virtual training event and enter the room as a guest: https://connect.dco.dod.mil/hcmsprelaunchtotraining/.


Call Center Early Closure

Published Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:30:16 CDT

In observance of Coast Guard Day, the Pay & Personnel Center (PPC) Customer Care Branch (CCB) Call Center will close at 1200 CDT on Friday, August 1, 2014. All PPC applications will remain available during the call center closure, and payroll/personnel processing will continue as normally scheduled. The Call Center will be available for customer inquiries on Monday, August 4, 2014, during normal business hours (0700 to 1600 CDT). As a reminder, the online Trouble Ticket form at http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ccb/ remains available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for customer inquiries.


Run the Monitor Absence Request Report at least once a week

Published Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:30:16 CDT

There are thousands of absence requests in a pending status. The pending status reflects requests that have been submitted but not yet acted upon. Except in emergency situations, Absence Requests for leave must be approved prior to the member's departure on leave. Each pending request has the potential to present complications and impacts to pay if not resolved before the transition to Global Pay in January 2015. Commands must review the status of all pending leave requests within their command and take action to resolve outstanding requests.

The Monitor Absence Request Report provides the unit with a way monitor their members' electronic absences. The report includes an option to view absence requests for all members in a SPO's area of responsibility. The report allows the unit or SPO to do the following:

  1. Review Absence Requests on a specified member.
  2. Review Absence Requests on all members assigned to the unit.
  3. Review Absence Requests on all members serviced by the SPO.
  4. Review Absence Requests that are in a specified status (e.g Pending, Approved, etc.).
  5. Review Absence Requests for a specified period.

Here is the link to the procedure for running the Monitor Absence Request Report.

Run the report today, you may be surprised by the number of pending leave requests for members of your command.


Career Sea Pay Premium Start Date Calculator

Published Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:30:16 CDT

This spreadsheet MS Excel Icon has dates fields on the second tab that will help you determine the correct date to use when starting Career Sea Pay Premium.

Basic Rules from CG Pay Manual, Chapter 4, Section C:

  1. Payable to members E-4 through O-6.

    (Note: While Career Sea Pay Premium isn't payable to members in pay grades E-3 and below, Sea Time accumulated while in pay grades E-3 or below counts towards Career Sea Pay Premium entitlement start date.)

  2. Career Sea Pay Premium begins on DAY 1 of the 37th MONTH of Consecutive Sea Duty.
  3. The rate of pay is $100 per month, based on a 30-day month. (Prorated for periods less than 30 days.)
  4. The 31st day is not counted for "Pay" purposes. However, for determination of entitlement termination while "TDY", the 31st day is counted. (e.g. When determining the last day of entitlement, the 31st day of the month is counted.)
  5. Career Sea Pay Premium is subject to Federal and State Income Tax - it NOT subject to FICA Tax.
  6. Career Sea Time counts for Premium when:
    1. Permanently assigned to a Career Sea Pay eligible vessel.
    2. Temporarily or Permanently assigned to a mobile unit other than for administrative duties.
    3. Temporarily or Permanently assigned to ship-based aviation unit or ship-based staff embarked on a Career Sea Pay eligible vessel
    4. Temporarily or Permanently assigned to a mobile unit to perform administrative duties and is embarked on a Career Sea Pay eligible vessel.

    Note: Sea Time counts even if the member wasn't entitled to Sea Pay as in the case of a member E-1 to E-3 or O-1 to O-3 who served on a vessel prior to October 2001 and had less than 3 years cumulative sea duty and were not eligible for career sea pay.

  7. Neutral Time for Career Sea Pay Premium:
    1. Permanently assigned to a ship-based staff and is not embarked on a Career Sea Pay eligible vessel.
    2. Temporarily or Permanently assigned to a mobile unit and is not entitled to Career Sea Pay.
    3. Normal delay en route on PCS transfer from on Career Sea Pay eligible vessel to another to include: Leave, Proceed Time, Travel Time, TDY. **This includes transfer to a pre-commissioning unit preparing a Career Sea Pay eligible vessel for placement in an active status and transfer to a decommissioning unit preparing a vessel for deactivation.
    4. TDY away from a Career Sea Pay eligible vessel greater than 30 days and not otherwise entitled.
    5. Temporarily assigned ashore due to: Limited Duty, HUMS, Hospitalization, or Sick Leave.
    6. Incurs deductible time due to: UA, Confinement, Non-Performance of Duty (i.e. Civil Arrest) , or Absence due to Misconduct.
    7. Is on one or more PCS school assignments with a total duration less than one year AND is between permanent assignments of two Career Sea Pay eligible vessels IF the training is necessary for the follow-on sea duty assignment. For example: A-School, C-School, and OCS. Personal profession development schools do not count. For example: Undergraduate and Post-graduate school, Staff or War College. A request for determination will be sent to CG-1222 when qualifying training / schooling exceeds one year.

NOTE: When using February 29th in your sea pay premium calculations, it may be necessary to compute the correct sea pay premium start date by hand. The reference for computing sea time can be found in Appendix C of the 3PM.

Do NOT forget to check all Segment 07's and 69's for sea time and sea time adjustments!

Career Sea Pay Premium Start Date CalculatorMS Excel Icon


YNCM Assignment Solicitation

Published Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:30:16 CDT

ALCGENL message 166/14 provides information and application procedures for assignment as the YN Rating Force Master Chief (RFMC).

RFMCs are advocates for their rating and advisors to program managers and senior Coast Guard leadership on all matters that have an impact on the workforce. They have a significant role in the training programs affecting their rating, including A and C-Schools, correspondence courses, and enlisted performance qualifications. RFMCs are responsible for setting rating specific advancement requirements and reviewing lateral entry requests into their rating. RFMCs perform a crucial role in setting overall staffing standards which include unit specific staffing issues. RFMCs must maintain open communications with their rating; this is normally done through force notes, field visits, and direct contact with individual members.

All interested YN Master Chiefs who meet the requirements set forth in the directives referenced in the message should submit an eResume not later than 29 August 2014. The expected report date is on or about 1 June 2015.

See ALCGENL 166/14 for more information.


YN1 Assignment Solicitation

Published Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:30:16 CDT

ALCGENL message 169/14 provides information and application procedures for assignment as the Administrative Liaison to the Director, White House Military Office.

All interested YN1s who meet the requirements set forth in the directives referenced in the message should submit an eResume not later than 29 August 2014. The expected report date is on or about 1 June 2015.

See ALCGENL 169/14 for more information.


Information and Timeline for the November Servicewide Exam Announced

Published Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:30:16 CDT

ALCGENL message 162/14 announces the November 2014 Servicewide Exam (SWE) competition for all ratings, except MU, for advancement to pay grades E-5 and E-6.

Candidates must have the most current Rating Performance Qualifications (RPQs), Enlisted Performance Qualifications (EPQs), and Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) as applicable, signed off not later than 01 August 2014.

The most common reason for member ineligibility to participate in a SWE is a missing Enlisted Employee Review (EER). Each candidate must have a current EER with CO recommendation. For E-5 and E-6 candidates, the EER must be dated after 01 February 2014 and not later than 01 August 2014. If an EER was not completed due to reasons listed in 5.E.1.b of Enlisted Accessions, Evaluations, and Advancements, COMDTINST M1000.2 (series), commands must complete a SWE-EER with an effective date not later than 01 August 2014.

It is each individual's responsibility to ensure their eligibility in all respects for the SWE. Read ALCGENL 162/14 for more information.


July 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete

Published Date: Wed, 23 July 2014 16:30:16 CDT

July Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs) Posted: LESs for July are available. Go to 'View Paycheck' in Direct Access under Employee Self Service to view.

The military payday for End Of Month (EOM) July 2014 is 1 August. Payday falls on the 1st and 15th of each month unless that date is a weekend or federal legal holiday. In those cases, the payday is moved to the 1st preceding business day. For the 2014 schedule of military paydays visit: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/mas.asp#2014.

July Reserve Points Statements Posted: Reserve retirement point data for July 2014 is available. Go to 'View Reserve Points' in Direct Access under Self Service to view.


YN Rating Force Notes July 2014

Published Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 16:30:16 CDT

The July 2014 issue of the YN RATING FORCE NOTES is available in the CGPortal: file is in pdf formathttps://cglink.uscg.mil/YNForceNotesJul14

The YN RATING FORCE NOTES is published by YNCM Julie A. Gunderson, Yeoman Rating Force Master Chief, COMDT (DCMS-81).

This issue includes the following articles:

  • YN Points of Contact
  • Coast Guard Yeoman Guiding Principles
  • The Commandant's Guiding Principles
  • YN RFMC News
  • YN Assignment Officer News
  • YN Rating Knowledge Manager News - An Open Letter to SWE Challengers
  • Update on SPO Alignment Phase I
  • Direct Access 9.1 Global Pay
  • The "Life and Death" Importance of Accuracy in SGLI and FSGLI Processing
  • Learning Styles
  • Permissive Travel Rules with PCS
  • Customer Service Bravo Zulu!!!!
  • Force Strength, Advancements and Retirements and Statistics
    • Strength of the Active Yeoman Rating
    • Strength of the Reserve Yeoman Rating
    • Yeoman Afloat/Ashore Statistics
    • Advancements
    • Forecasted Retirements and Separations


PPC HCMS/Global Pay Pre-Launch to Training 30 July

Published Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 09:30:16 CDT

The U.S. Coast Guard is six months away from the go-live launch of the Human Capital Management System/Global Pay (HCMS/GP) initiative. In order to provide the very best of services to all end users of the system, PPC Procedures and Development (P&D) will be holding a virtual session to begin the conversation about the software conversion. Some of the discussion topics will include:

  • Current Status of System Change
  • Overview of Resources
  • What to Expect in the Coming Months
  • Training Availability and Durations
  • End User Input and Feedback
  • PPC Roles and Responsibility

DATE: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
TIME: 1:00pm CDT
Length: About One Hour
REGISTRATION: To register for the event please send an email to PPC-PF-PD@uscg.mil.

***Instructions for signing into the event will be sent upon receipt of your registration***

To participate please visit the following website prior to the session to test your system to make sure you have no connectivity issues. USCG standard workstations and mobile devices are compatible with this delivery format. ***If prompted to install an Adobe add-in please continue, the install is USCG approved and does not require IT assistance***

https://connect.dco.dod.mil/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm.

*** YOU WILL NEED SPEAKERS OR HEADPHONES TO HEAR THE PRESENTATION AND A CONNECTION TO THE INTERNET***

All inquiries may be directed to PPC Procedures and Development Branch at 785-339-2225 or PPC-PF-PD@USCG.MIL.

Please feel free to share with anyone and everyone. I look forward to your attendance!

Karen S. Emmot
Supervisor Training Specialist
Procedures & Development
Pay & Personnel Center


Call Center Early Closure

Published Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 09:30:16 CDT

In observance of the Independence Day Holiday, the Pay & Personnel Center (PPC) Customer Care Branch (CCB) Call Center will close at 1400 CDT on Thursday, July 3, 2014. All PPC applications will remain available during the holiday, and payroll/personnel processing will continue as normally scheduled. The Call Center will be available for customer inquiries on Monday, July 7, 2014, during normal business hours (0700 to 1600 CDT). As a reminder, the online Trouble Ticket form at http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ccb/ remains available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for customer inquiries.


JUMPS TOPTS (Bluezone) Outage Scheduled for 27 June

Published Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2014 12:30:16 CDT

The Joint Military Pay System (JUMPS) inquiry program will not be available on Friday, 27 June 2014. This outage is for scheduled server maintenance. The work is expected to be completed by Saturday, 28 June. However, the entire 3-day period from 27 to 29 June is reserved for maintenance and testing. The system should be available for use by 0700 (CDT), Monday, 30 June.


June 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete

Published Date: Fri, 20 June 2014 12:30:16 CDT

June Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs) Posted: LESs for June are available. Go to 'View Paycheck' in Direct Access under Employee Self Service to view.

The military payday for End Of Month (EOM) June 2014 is 1 July. Payday falls on the 1st and 15th of each month unless that date is a weekend or federal legal holiday. In those cases, the payday is moved to the 1st preceding business day. For the 2014 schedule of military paydays visit: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/mas.asp#2014.

June Reserve Points Statements Posted: Reserve retirement point data for June 2014 is available. Go to 'View Reserve Points' in Direct Access under Self Service to view.


Training Opportunity: SGLI Program Overview

Published Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2014 10:30:16 CDT

An Overview of the SGLI Program is being offered to all branches of service on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 2 p.m. Eastern. The training will be done by phone, so no travel is involved.

Who Should Attend?

The session is designed for Branch of Service Casualty Officers, clerks and human resource staff. You are welcome to invite others who you think might benefit.

What will it cover?

Here are the topics we'll cover:

  • Program History
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
  • Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
  • Accelerated Benefit Option (ABO)
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
  • Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
  • Payment Options
  • Q&A

When and How to Register

Date: Thursday, June 19, 2014
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Email Wendy Eberle (wendy.eberle@prudential.com) by June 16, 2014.

The training material and dial in information will be provided to all registered participants by June 17, 2014.

If you have additional questions about this training, please feel free to contact me for clarification.

V/R,

Wendy Eberle
Prudential
Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
973-548-6681


Passport Agent Training

Published Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2014 13:30:16 CDT

Official Passport Acceptance Agent (OPPA) Certification Course

By: YN1 Marc Blalock, COMDT (CG-DCO-I)

The Office of International Affairs and Foreign Policy (CG-DCO-I) and the Department of State (DoS) will be hosting a two day Official Passport Acceptance Agent (OPPA) Certification Course September 30 - October 01, 2014.

The U. S. Coast Guard processes more than 3,500 passports for official travel each year. The majority of the passport applications originate at field units. Passport Agents work with members to ensure passport applications meet DoS requirements before packages are sealed and submitted. Without this face to face assistance to immediately correct errors, there could be significant delay in passport processing, as DoS is forced to return incorrect applications.

The OPPA training, which is conducted by DoS at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, allows the U.S. Coast Guard to maintain a trained cadre of Passport Agents to supplant those lost through transfers and separations.

DCO-I considers this training vital to facilitating U.S. Coast Guard operations overseas including crewmember swaps, as well as LEDET, maintenance assist teams, and other operational and support teams.

  • Location of training: U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC.
  • Target Audience: OPPA Training is targeting Yeoman but is open to all E-4 and above of any Rate and officers.
  • Funding: Certification/Training is funded by member's unit.

To request a seat in the upcoming training class:

  1. Open this link: http://hqs-spweb10-001:10115/I1/Lists/Agent Training Request/Default View.aspx
  2. Click on NEW at the top.
  3. Click on attach file at the top to upload your documents as one attachment. (Copy of Birth Certificate, Security Clearance data out of DA and approved TAD or orders)
  4. Fill out every block but the Agent number (this will be filled in after training.) If you are an agent already and this is a refresher course, please enter your agent number and note that you are already an agent in the notes block.
  5. Click on 'OK' to submit form to DCO-I-1.

Commandant (CG-DCO-I-1) will send you an email with training information approximately 2 weeks prior to the start date.

The deadline to request training is September 12, 2014.

Direct any questions to CG-DCO-I-1 via email to uscgpassports@uscg.mil.

Projected future training dates:

  • March 4 - March 5, 2015 - USCGHQ
  • July 8 - July 9, 2015 - Alaska
  • September 23 - September 24, 2015 - USCGHQ

Official Passport Division Staff

The Passport and Visa Division is located at Coast Guard Headquarters, in the Office of International Affairs and Foreign Policy (CG-DCO-I).

For all passport and visa inquiries, please email the passport division staff members at: uscgpassports@uscg.mil.

Official Passport and Visa Resources

Official passport and visa regulations and procedures can be found in Chapter 9 of COMDTINST M5710.5, Foreign Affairs Policy Manual (FAPM).

Comprehensive, one-stop shopping for passport and visa information can be found at the DCO-I Passport and Visa CGPortal Page.

Helpful Guidance

Ensure that all members transferring to a new unit retain their official passport, and either keep it on their person or it is forwarded along with their PDR.

Do not return official passports to DCO-I unless the member is separating from the service for any reason (Relad, Discharge, Unqualified Resignation, Temp Sep, etc).

All newly issued passports, and any passport movement must be entered into Direct Access.


Reminder: BAH for Single Recruit, OCS, or Academy Graduates In-Transit

Published Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2014 15:00:16 CDT

CGA Class of 2014 Graduates
NEW LONDON, Conn. - Cadet 1st Class Jordan Rank throws his cover into the air as he officially becomes an ensign during the 133rd commencement exercises at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., May 21, 2014. Rank is one of more than 200 cadets who graduated during the ceremony. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

With the graduates of the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2014 reporting in to their first permanent duty stations this summer, PPC (mas) would like to remind you that single graduates from basic training, OCS and the Academy, with no prior service, are entitled to BAH-Transit Rate while in transit to their first permanent duty station (PDS). The Reporting SPO must input the BAH-Transit Rate start (effective date of PCS departure) and the BAH-Transit Rate stop (effective the day prior to PCS reporting) along with the reporting endorsement and transactions to record BAH entitlement at the member's or officer's first PDS. If the member or officer acquires a dependent or dependents while en route PCS, the reporting SPO shall:

  1. Stop BAH-Transit Rate the day prior to the date the change in dependency is effective and
  2. Start BAH-With/Dependents (if appropriate) using the zip code for the location of the member's dependent(s) effective the day the dependency change was effective. (Note: Review the Pay Manual before starting BAH especially if the member is married to another member or is not married and has a child).
  3. Submit the transaction to start BAH or OHA at the rate for new PDS and government quarters assignment status effective the date the member or officer reports to their first PDS.

See PAYMAN, 3-G-5d. (Members in Transit/New Accessions) & Fig 3-19 (Rule 7) and the PPC SPO Manual, Part II, Chapter 10-1, Basic Allowance for Housing, BAH During PCS, for more information.

Note: Always approve the PCS Reporting Endorsement before approving the PCS entitlement rows:

  • The PCS Reporting Endorsement must be approved first by the CGHRSUP Role User. After the PCS Reporting Endorsement is approved, then it is time to review the member's current pay entitlements by clicking the Employee Entitlements link and submit entitlement rows as necessary to start Pay and Allowances applicable for the member's new duty station and/or duty status.
  • When the PCS pay entitlements are incorrectly approved prior to approving the PCS Reporting Endorsement, pay delays and/or pay problems result for our members. The PCS Reporting Endorsement is designed to "stop" certain pay entitlements in JUMPS. When approved out of sequence, the PCS Reporting Endorsement can incorrectly shut down allowances the member is entitled to receive.
  • See "PCS Reporting Endorsement" in Part IV, Chapter 5, of the DA SPO Manual.


Self-Service Options for Stateside TRICARE Beneficiaries

Published Date: Wed, 28 May 2014 11:30:16 CDT

Permanent change of station (PCS) season is around the corner and there are many tasks to juggle before a move. Beyond just the basic packing, your health care options with TRICARE may change as well. Although walk-in service at TRICARE Service Centers (TSCs) in the United States has ended, there are multiple, convenient online and telephone customer service options for beneficiaries. Accessing your TRICARE benefit is easier than ever, and you can receive care when you need it.

TRICARE's "Moving Made Easy" is a great program for active duty service members and their families that currently have a TRICARE Prime option. With this service, beneficiaries can easily transfer their Prime enrollment via telephone, online or mail. Learn more about "Moving Made Easy" at www.tricare.mil/moving.

After your PCS move, you need to update your information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). You can change your DEERS information by logging-on to milConnect (www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect). Through milConnect, you can edit your address, email and phone number as well as access your health care eligibility. For more information on how to update DEERS, visit www.tricare.mil/DEERS.

TRICARE also provides a downloadable contact wallet card that beneficiaries can print and keep with them to have an instant reference to TRICARE health plan information worldwide. To download the card, visit www.tricare.mil/CallUs and click on "TRICARE Contact Wallet Card".

The TRICARE website is a great resource as well. At www.tricare.mil, beneficiaries can fill out a profile to get customized and immediate benefit information. Beneficiaries can also get answers to frequently asked questions without calling in, and can email TRICARE to ask a specific benefit question. There's also the "I want to..." section with links to manage prescriptions, enroll or purchase a plan, find a doctor and much more.

With these online service options, military transitions don't have to leave you feeling stressed. Save some time by using TRICARE's online tools.


PCS Travel Advance - Do it Right the First Time

Published Date: Wed, 28 May 2014 10:30:16 CDT

The below subject was first posted in the April 2014 Travel Newsletter file in pdf format, but is being reposted because PPC Travel has received several requests for secondary advances. PLEASE communicate with the member, check, and double check all PCS entitlements. Consider TLE at old and new PDS, dependents traveling separately, number of POVs, etc., before submitting a travel advance request. A traveler should almost always request advanced MALT, Per Diem, and DLA (if authorized). A GTCC holder can use their IBA for TLE costs when PCS travel is 15 days or less (see the March 2014 Travel Newsletter file in pdf format). As a Yeoman, you are the expert, do the right thing and take the time to properly counsel your members.

PPC has experienced reduced staffing levels just like every other unit. The PCS season is PPC Travel's busiest, our small team of 19 primary Examiners and Auditors will process over 65,000 advances and claims over the next few months. As PCS travel claims flood into PPC, we will not be able to accommodate requests for secondary travel advances because we will be focused solely on processing travel claims. Unfortunately it will be the member that suffers. DO NOT be the Yeoman that causes your shipmate unnecessary financial pain during a PCS transfer.

April 2014: There has been a recent change with the way FINCEN liquidates/collects advances. FINCEN will now send out collection letters on all outstanding advances that have not been liquidated with a PCS claim and are 30+ days greater than the end/report date on the advance. As such, procedures have been changed. There is an updated ASP tutorial on the PPC website: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/travel/WebTpaxASPtutorial.pdf file in pdf format. The biggest change is the begin and end dates of the advance NOW must match the depart and report dates on the orders. This means that advances must be complete and accurate the first time they are processed. Additional advances will only be processed due to extreme extenuating circumstances. Secondary advances must be requested by submitting a PPC customer service ticket with attached orders, form SF-1038, Advance of Funds Application and Account file in pdf format, and justification for the second advance. PPC Travel will approve secondary advances on a case by case basis.


Call Center Early Closure

Published Date: Fri, 23 May 2014 11:30:16 CDT

In observance of the Memorial Day Holiday, the Pay & Personnel Center (PPC) Customer Care Branch (CCB) Call Center will close at 1400 CDT on Friday, May 23, 2014. All PPC applications will remain available during the holiday, and payroll/personnel processing will continue as normally scheduled. The Call Center will be available for customer inquiries on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, during normal business hours (0700 to 1600 CDT). As a reminder, the online Trouble Ticket form at http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ccb/ remains available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for customer inquiries.


May 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete

Published Date: Fri, 23 May 2014 11:30:16 CDT

May Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs) Posted: LESs for May are available. Go to 'View Paycheck' in Direct Access under Employee Self Service to view.

The military payday for End Of Month (EOM) May 2014 is 30 May. Payday falls on the 1st and 15th of each month unless that date is a weekend or federal legal holiday. In those cases, the payday is moved to the 1st preceding business day. For the 2014 schedule of military paydays visit: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/mas.asp#2014.

May Reserve Points Statements Posted: Reserve retirement point data for May 2014 is available. Go to 'View Reserve Points' in Direct Access under Self Service to view.


Timeline and Training Plan for Implementation of new Pay and Personnel System Announced

Published Date: Fri, 09 May 2014 11:30:16 CDT

UNCLAS //N05298//
ALCOAST 203/14
COMDTNOTE 5298
SUBJ: UPCOMING DIRECT ACCESS TECH REFRESH EVENTS

  1. The Direct Access Technology Refresh project described in Flag Voice 414 has met key milestones and is approaching other milestones. Key schedule dates include:
    1. 5 May to 23 May 2014: User Validation Testing (UVT). UVT involves SMEs evaluating the new software functions.
    2. 2 Jun to 1 Dec 2014: End-to-End (E2E) Testing (HR and Global Payroll). E2E testing involves testing all of the new software functions simultaneously.
    3. 18 Dec 2014 to 5 Jan 2015: No end-user access to Direct Access offline: There will be no user access to Direct Access, including all Self-Service functionality.
    4. 2 Jan 2015: Implementation of Direct Access Technology Refresh. This is the release date of the new software application (Direct Access version 9.1).
  2. The Direct Access/Joint Uniform Military Pay System (JUMPS) cutover will begin on 18 Dec 2014. During this period, the system will be down for two weeks to complete data and code migrations, and system and user configuration changes in Direct Access version 9.1.
  3. As part of the transition, the Pay and Personnel Center (PPC) is developing awareness presentations for Direct Access functionality that will be coming online in January 2015. They are also developing training materials, job aids such as user guides, simulated tutorials, recorded sessions, and virtual training. The presentation platform that will be used will be Defense Connect Online. Training dates and sign up instructions for interested Coast Guard personnel will be provided once they are scheduled by PPC.
  4. On 13 May 2014, PPC will provide an introduction to the Direct Access functionality coming on line in January 2015. The presentation will be via Defense Connect Online at 1300 CDT. Interested personnel are encouraged to attend this introductory session. Take the following steps if you are interested in attending:
    1. Visit the following website to test basic Adobe configuration: https://connect.dco.dod.mil/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm If prompted, install the Adobe Connect Add-In (this is an authorized install).
    2. Ensure you have an internet connection and speakers or headphones to hear the presentation.
    3. To register for the event, send email to PPC-PF-PD@uscg.mil. Instructions for signing into the event will be sent upon receipt of registration. Forward inquiries concerning the event to PPC at PPC-PD-PF@uscg.mil or to Karen Emmot at 785-339-2225.
  5. RADM D. A. Neptun, Assistant Commandant for Human Resources, sends.
  6. Internet Release is authorized.


Training Opportunity: SGLI Program Overview

Published Date: Fri, 09 May 2014 10:30:16 CDT

An Overview of the SGLI Program is being offered to all branches of service on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 2 p.m. Eastern. The training will be done by phone, so no travel is involved.

Who Should Attend?

The session is designed for Branch of Service Casualty Officers, clerks and human resource staff. You are welcome to invite others who you think might benefit.

What will it cover?

Here are the topics we'll cover:

  • Program History
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
  • Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
  • Accelerated Benefit Option (ABO)
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
  • Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
  • Payment Options
  • Q&A

When and How to Register

Date: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Email Wendy Eberle (wendy.eberle@prudential.com) by May 13, 2014.

The training material and dial in information will be provided to all registered participants by May 14, 2014.

If you have additional questions about this training, please feel free to contact me for clarification.

V/R,

Wendy Eberle
Prudential
Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
973-548-6681


SPO Advance Signature Proxies No Longer Need to Verify PCS Order Funds Obligations

Published Date: Thu, 08 May 2014 16:30:16 CDT

Effective immediately, it is no longer necessary for the SPO Advance Signature Proxy to confirm any PCS obligations in the FINCEN Query by Document web site as was directed in the ASP Tutorial and mentioned in AO E-Newsletter articles numerous times. Starting in FY14, DCMS-831 obligates PCS funds via weekly summary batch. Individual TONO numbers are no longer available to the FINCEN web site. However, the PCS orders must be in a "READY" status in DA prior to processing an advance request. Only orders in a "READY" status will be included in the weekly summary batch.

We have updated the Web-TPAX Advance Signature Proxy (ASP) Tutorial to reflect this change.


PPC Customer Care Telephone Hours Reduced on 09 May 2014

Published Date: Thu, 08 May 2014 14:30:16 CDT

The "phone" portion of Call Center will be closed from 1200 to 1600 (CDT) on Friday, 9 May 2014. Customers can still submit an online help ticket or contact us via e-mail.


Thrift Savings Plan to Implement New Stronger Password Policy

Published Date: Thu, 08 May 2014 13:30:16 CDT

TSP ANNOUNCEMENT: Coming soon: Stronger passwords - (May 8, 2014) Within the next few days, the TSP will implement its new stronger password policy. All Web passwords will have to be at least 10 characters in length. Once we have implemented the new policy, you will be instructed to change your password to one of your choice using our new requirements the next time you log into My Account. Please remember that the TSP does not email you to change your password.

TSP.GOV is the only legitimate web address for reaching the TSP online. Email links indicating that you need to reset your password may send you to fraudulent websites, and these websites may steal your login credentials when you enter them. Visit the TSP Security Center for more information. If you ever suspect your account credentials have been compromised, please call the ThriftLine at 877-968-3778 immediately so that we may take immediate actions to protect your account.

More TSP-related news is available at https://www.tsp.gov/whatsnew/plan/planNews.shtml.


Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Premium Adjustment Implemented

Published Date: Tue, 06 May 2014 11:30:16 CDT

Per ALCOAST 165/14, premium rates for Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) are changing effective 1 July 2014. E-Mail ALSPO message B/14file in pdf format announces the implementation of the premium rate change in Direct Access and the Joint Uniform Military Pay System.

Reservists drilling for points only or not receiving pay for other reasons will need to account for the higher premium in their payments (made in accordance with Section 5.A.2.6., of the Personnel and Pay Procedures Manual, PPCINST M1000.2 (series)) file in pdf format beginning in July 2014.


PPC Customer/SPO Newsletter Issue 04/2014

Published Date: Fri, 02 May 2014 11:30:16 CDT

Issue 04/14 (April)PDF FORMAT of the PPC Customer Newsletter (formerly the SPO Newsletter) is now available.

In this issue:

  • Financial Audit Status Update
  • PPC Travel Mailing Address
  • Payroll Processing Schedule
  • Use Web-TPAX to Calculate Mileage for Trave to or from Alaska
  • PCS Travel Advances
  • Verifying PCS Order Funds Obligations
  • Government Housing Releases and PCS Orders
  • Government Travel Charge Card Program Updates and PCS Season Reminders
  • CG Standard Workstation Account Transfer
  • Transfer to a non-CG unit/position
  • Shipping a Second Privately Owned (Motor) Vehicle (POV) within the Contiguous United States (CONUS)
  • Separation Processing Reminders
  • Leave Computation Tool
  • Enlistment Bonus Recoupment due to Early Separation
  • Critical Rate Management Update
  • CG Form CG-5113 Added to the EI-PDR

Pay & Personnel Center Customer Newsletter Issue 04/14 (April)PDF FORMAT


Statement of Creditable Service (SOCS) Request Required for All Prior Service Personnel

Published Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 17:30:16 CDT

A Statement of Creditable Service (SOCS) request must be sent to PPC (ADV) by the SPO completing the accession whenever a member with prior service is accessed into the Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve. Prior service data is entered by the SPO as part of the accession process. The SPO will file a copy of the SOCS request in the member's PDR, section 1, to serve as supporting documentation for crediting the member with prior service time for pay entry base date and active duty base date purposes. If the SPO completing the accession did not submit a SOCS request, the SPO at the member's first PDS must complete the request upon receipt of the PDR from the accession point. Page 5-C-5 of the Personnel and Pay Procedures Manual, PPCINST M1000.2 (series) provides the procedure and lists other times when a SOCS request must be submitted.

For PPC (ADV) to generate an accurate service statement all prior service documentation should be scanned and emailed to PPC Customer Care. This includes all contracts and all discharge documents including DD-214's and NGB 22 and 23's for National Guard members. (NGB Documents are the National Guard's version of the DD-214 and enlistment contracts).

See http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/adv.asp for more information.


PPC (PD) Virtual Training Session Scheduled for 13 May 2014

Published Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:30:16 CDT

Please note the scheduled April 30 virtual training session has been moved to May 13 @ 1300 CDT. The sessions will be announced via ALCOAST message. A new announcement will be sent as soon as possible upon the ALCOAST release to allow sufficient time for registration.

Karen S. Emmot
Supervisor Training Specialist
Procedures and Development
USCG Pay and Personnel Center


Reminder, SGLI Premium Adjustment Effective July 1, 2014

Published Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:30:16 CDT

DVA News Header

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 25 2014

SGLI Premium Adjustment Effective July 1, 2014

WASHINGTON - The Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program will adjust its monthly premium rate from 6.5 cents per $1,000 back to the 2006 rate of seven cents per $1,000 of insurance, a modest increase to ensure the SGLI program remains in a strong financial position.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to place the interests of Servicemembers first and foremost by keeping SGLI premiums as low as possible while also maintaining the necessary reserve levels to ensure funds are available to pay claims to Servicemembers' beneficiaries. Since the start of the SGLI Program in 1965, monthly premiums have decreased from 20 cents per $1,000 to the current 6.5 cents per $1,000. (Chart below). There have been periodic increases and decreases, but over the past 30 years premiums have fluctuated only 2.5 cents per $1,000 of insurance.

barchart showing rate changes

In July 2008, VA lowered the monthly premium rate for basic SGLI from seven cents per $1,000 of insurance to 6.5 cents per $1,000 of insurance to reduce excess reserve funds in the program. Insurance companies hold reserve funds to ensure they can pay future claims. It is common practice in the group insurance industry to adjust premium rates as reserve funds increase and decrease, which typically happens when there are changes in the economy and/or changes in the number of death claims.

In order for the program to remain in good financial condition, it is now necessary to increase the premium rate by half a cent per $1,000 of insurance. Since 2008, as a result of the half-cent reduction and decreases in interest rates, reserve funds have decreased. Insurance companies hold reserve funds to ensure they can pay future claims. It is common practice in the group insurance industry to adjust premium rates as reserve funds increase and decrease. VA also uses actuaries, individuals who deal with financial impact of risk, to conduct program experience studies when evaluating and adjusting reserve assumptions; and each year, an independent auditor verifies the accuracy of their reserve calculations.

For a Service member with the maximum $400,000 of life insurance, this change will mean an increase of two dollars a month.

The new premium rate will take effect on July 1, 2014. Individual Ready Reserve members who are drilling for points toward retirement or who do not receive pay for other reasons will be responsible to pay their branch of service for the higher premium beginning in July 2014. For information on the new rates, visit http://benefits.va.gov/insurance/sgli.asp.

SOURCE: VA News Release, 25 April 2014, http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2538.


Coast Guard's Annual Financial Audit (Video)

Published Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:30:16 CDT

Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Robert Papp Jr., and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt, talks about the significance of the Coast Guard's annual financial audit, its financial position and the important role the men and women of the Coast Guard play in its success. USCG video by Telfair H. Brown, Sr.


April 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete

Published Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2014 15:30:16 CDT

April Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs) Posted: LESs for April are available. Go to 'View Paycheck' in Direct Access under Employee Self Service to view.

The military payday for End Of Month (EOM) April 2014 is 1 May. Payday falls on the 1st and 15th of each month unless that date is a weekend or federal legal holiday. In those cases, the payday is moved to the 1st preceding business day. For the 2014 schedule of military paydays visit: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/mas.asp#2014.

April Reserve Points Statements Posted: Reserve retirement point data for April 2014 is available. Go to 'View Reserve Points' in Direct Access under Self Service to view.


Government Housing Releases and PCS Orders

Published Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:30:16 CDT

CWO Victor E. Hughes, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Housing Management Division (CG-1333)

In January 2013, ALCOAST 016/13 announced the promulgation of policy mandating assignment to government-controlled housing in OCONUS locations. It stated "All members with PCS orders reporting for duty outside of the continental United States on or after 15 April 2013 must submit an Application for Assignment to Military Housing, Form CG-5267, to the housing office at their new duty stations. Local Housing Authorities shall assign members to government-controlled family or unaccompanied personnel housing when it is available and adequate."

Subsequently in June 2013, Flag Voice 384 announced the that assignment to government-controlled housing in CONUS would closely mirror that as stated in ALCOAST 016/13. The language in the Flag Voice stated that; "Beginning in AY14, all members in receipt of permanent change of station orders will be required to submit an Application for Assignment to Military Housing, Form CG-5267, to their new unit's housing officer prior to receipt of final orders. Housing officers will assign members to government housing in conjunction with a PCS move, when housing is available and adequate."

In December 2013, the Coast Guard Housing Manual, COMDTINST M11101.13F was promulgated establishing Coast Guard policy for assignment to government-controlled housing for both CONUS and OCONUS locations. It stated in paragraph 3.B.2. "Members in receipt of permanent change of station (PCS) orders must submit an Application for Assignment to Military Housing, Form CG-5267, and a copy of their PCS orders to the housing officer at their new duty station. The housing officer will verify the application and dependent information and determine the member's eligibility and bedroom requirement for housing."

We have gotten a lot of feedback from Commands that yeoman are telling members they will not get their final orders until a release from housing is provided. The intent of Flag Voice 384 was not for the SPO to hold a member's final orders in abeyance until the member proves they sent the CG-5267 to the new PDS, but to ensure that members submitted their Application for Housing prior to their departure from their old PDS. It was never meant to involve the SPO with the enforcement of housing policy. The responsibility will always fall upon the member to ensure that all necessary requirements are met prior to their PCS transfer. With the promulgation of the new housing manual, it established policy and superseded any previous communications. We apologize for any confusion that this may have caused.


Separation Processing Reminders

Published Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:30:16 CDT

Statement of Intent (SOI):

  • Ensure SOIs are entered and approved 45 days prior to departure on terminal leave for Release from Active Duty (RELADs) and separations. Enter and approve SOIs 60 days prior to departure on terminal leave for retirements.
  • The SOI must account for all leave (leave sale and/or terminal leave with dates).
  • Enter permissive or temporary duty dates in the comments.

Unique Separation Processing:

  1. The procedures for RELADs, discharge, and retirements are all unique.
  2. It is imperative the SPO YN use the Coast Guard Servicing Personnel Office (SPO) Manual, PPCINST M5231.3 (series), Part VI, Separations, for step by step procedures for each type of separation. This is especially important when it comes to leave and permissive time taken upon detachment from the unit.

    • RELAD/Retirement - Leave is charged in the separation action in Direct Access and is not recorded in the Vacation Request.
    • Discharge - Leave is charged in the Vacation Request, not the separation action.

Approval of the Discharge Transaction:

  • Approve RELADs and Retirements no later than day of departure from unit.
  • Approve Discharges 14 days prior to discharge.


Enlistment Bonus Recoupment due to Early Separation

Published Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:30:16 CDT

Members who separate from the service prior to completing obligated service for a bonus may be subject to bonus recoupment. The Bonus Recoupment calculations are found in the Military Bonus Programs Manual, COMDTINST M7220.2, file in pdf format Art. 1.A.7.

  • The separation orders will specify whether the bonus is to be collected or not.
  • If the orders state that any bonuses will be collected, the member should be counseled.
  • The SPO is responsible for calculating the amount of obligated service not fulfilled.
  • The contract which the bonus is attached to must be referenced (Not additional extensions or re-extensions).
  • The discharge date is to be included in the amount of time to be recouped as it is the eligibility loss date.

Recoupment Examples (Source: COMDTINST M7220.2, Art.1.A.7.c.):

(1) A non-prior service member enlisted for 4 years (48 months) on 20 September 2000 for an "A" school, which has a $15,000 bonus. On graduation from the "A" school on 1 August 2001, the member was paid $15,000. The member served at his unit for three months and was discharged due to misconduct on 5 October 2001. Time not served is 2 years, 11 months and 15 days.

The amount of EB recouped would be $11,093.75 based on ($15,000/48 months = $312.50 per month x 35 months) + ($312.50/30 days = $10.4166 per day x 15 days).

(2) A prior service member enlisted for 4 years (48 months) on 20 October 2001 with a $2,000 bonus. On entry, the member was paid a $2,000 bonus. Member was separated from the service due to misconduct on 1 January 2002. Time not served is 3 years, 9 months and 19 days. The amount of EB recouped would be $1,901.39 based on ($2,000/48 mos = $41.6666 per month x 45 months) + (41.6666/30 days = $1.3888 per day x 19 days).


FY14 Active Duty Enlisted Critical Rate Management Update

Published Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:30:16 CDT

ALCOAST message 162/14 announces the results of the Critical Rate Management Workgroup (CRMW) that convened on 4 February 2014.

Bonuses: (Ref. ALCOAST 162/14)

  • Enlistment Bonus (EB): No Enlistment Bonus is offered at this time.
  • Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB). No Selective Reenlistment Bonus is offered at this time for any rating.
  • Critical Skills Training Bonus (CSTB): No CSTB is offered at this time.
  • Critical Skills Retention Bonus (CSRB): No CSRB is offered at this time.

The message also provides information on:

  • A-School candidates are being sought for the FS and OS ratings.
  • Members in a critical rating (currently AMT, AET, FS, OS, and HS) encouraged to apply for 2014 High-Year Tenure (HYT) waivers.
  • Reserve integration and inter-service transfers.
  • Extended Active Duty (EAD) opportunities for the HS, FS, and OS ratings.
  • Special assignment limitations for the AMT, AET, FS, and OS ratings.
  • Open Rate List (ORL).

The Critical Rate Management Workgroup was established to identify and manage intervention strategies for rates/ratings deemed to have personnel shortages that could negatively impact mission execution. Factors considered by this workgroup include organizational needs across all ratings, workforce trends, and future personnel requirements forecasts. The Critical Rate Management Workgroup consolidated the responsibilities of the former SRB panel in determining the need to offer bonuses.

ALCOAST 162/14; FY14 Active Duty Enlisted Critical Rate Management Update.


Leave Computation Tool

Published Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:30:16 CDT

The Leave Computation tool (MS Excel Spreadsheet) spreadsheet allows easy calculations for terminal leave and leave to be sold upon separation. Complete the corresponding blocks and the leave balance will indicate whether the leave balance will come to zero or if an adjustment needs to be made. The leave tool will pro-rate the leave accrual for you by referencing the separation date.

  • Ensure the prior balance is entered as the member's leave balance as of the month prior to separation. For example, if the member is separating in June, be sure to use the leave balance from the JUMPS seg 62 from May.
  • If the projected balance box indicates a value, an adjustment to projected leave needs to be made.
  • Negative leave balances will always come from leave to be sold first, this will be annotated in the "Backout leave" field. To correct this, the "leave to sell" value should be reduced.
  • Excess leave will be annotated only if the member is attempting to use more leave than he or she has available. The excess leave box will become red and have a numeric value. The worksheet will also figure the non-accrual for excess leave. To correct this issue, the member should be counseled on the correct amount of terminal leave available.
  • Only use the value in the excess leave box into account when correcting the leave information. (do not include the non-accrual for this).

Leave Computation Tool Link: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/sep/leavetool.xlsx


YN Rating Force Notes April 2014

Published Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:30:16 CDT

The April 2014 issue of the YN RATING FORCE NOTES is available in the CGPortal: file is in pdf formathttps://cglink.uscg.mil/YNForceNotesApr14

The YN RATING FORCE NOTES is published by YNCM Julie A. Gunderson, Yeoman Rating Force Master Chief, COMDT (DCMS-81).

This issue includes the following articles:

  • YN Points of Contact
  • Coast Guard Yeoman Guiding Principles
  • The Commandant's Guiding Principles
  • YN RFMC News
  • YN Assignment Officer News
  • YN Rating Knowledge Manager News
  • Reenlistment Policy Clarification
  • Processing Awards
  • About the PSC-PSD Field Support Branch
  • Your career is your responsibility, your service length is ours...
  • United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP)
  • Human Resource Certifications
  • Force Strength, Advancements and Retirements and Statistics
    • Strength of the Active Yeoman Rating
    • Strength of the Reserve Yeoman Rating
    • Yeoman Afloat/Ashore Statistics
    • Advancements
    • Forecasted Retirements and Separations


CG Form CG-5113, District Review Board Evaluation and Reporting Form, Added to the EI-PDR

Published Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:30:16 CDT

Commandant (CG-1331) approved a policy change to have Boatswain's Mates submit their CG-5113, District Review Board Evaluation and Reporting Form, to be included in their EI-PDR. This change is slated to be included in the next change to COMDTINST M1080.10 (series), Military Personnel Data Records (PDR) System. However, per e-mail between CG-1331, PSC-BOPS-MR and the BM RFMC, the change is effective now.

Effective immediately, SPOs will forward CG-5113 forms for inclusion in the member's EI-PDR. Submit forms by email to "ARL-PF-CGPSC-PSD-MR_DOCS". Use "URGENT BOARD ENTRY" in the subject line of the e-mail. This will help to ensure the forms are available in the member's EI-PDR for any upcoming retention/screening boards or waiver requests. Detailed instructions on scanning and e-mailing documents to BOPS-MR are in Part X, chapter 4 of the Coast Guard Servicing Personnel Office Manual.

EI-PDR Submissions:

When sending documents for the EI-PDR, SPOs should be aware that:

  • Only authorized documents should be sent to Military Records.
  • All documents must contain the member's EMPLID.
  • Scanned file name must include the member's EMPLID (1234567.pdf).
  • Scanned PDF must be authenticated, legible and complete copies of originals.
  • File size must be minimized using the guide in Part X, Chapter 4 of the SPO Manual.
  • Files shall not be encrypted if e-mailing from uscg.mil or dhs.gov email address.

Common Submission Errors:

These common errors add to the backlog and result in additional processing time for SPOs and MR staff:

  • Documents scanned in color (not black and white).
  • Documents sent in a foreign language and not translated.
  • Documents not marked with the member's EMPLID.
  • Documents labeled with another member's EMPLID/SSN.
  • Duplicate Submissions.
  • Unauthorized Documents.
  • Poorly Scanned Images.
  • Files with multiple member documents.
  • Incomplete Documents (no signatures or missing pages).
  • Medical Documents sent in error.


PPC Customer/SPO Newsletter Issue 03/2014

Published Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:30:16 CDT

Issue 03/14 (March)PDF FORMAT of the PPC Customer Newsletter (formerly the SPO Newsletter) is now available.

In this issue:

  • Changes to Re-Enlistment and Extension Policy
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Premium Change
  • PPC Virtual Training Overview
  • 2013 Coast Guard DEERS/RAPIDS Site of the Year
  • Advance Dislocation Allowance and Mandatory Housing Assignment
  • North Carolina State Income Tax Withholding Changes for 2014
  • 2014 Critical Housing Areas Updated
  • Transfer Season 2014 Household Goods (HHG) Shipping Information and Mandatory Customer Satisfaction Survey
  • 2014 Payroll Processing Schedule
  • March 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete
  • CG Standard Workstation Account Transfer (Tech Tip)
  • Transfer to a non-CG unit/position (Tech Tip)
  • North Carolina State Income Tax Withholding Changes for 2014

Pay & Personnel Center Customer Newsletter Issue 03/14 (March)PDF FORMAT


Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Premium to Increase on 1 July

Published Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:30:16 CDT

Premium rates for Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) are changing effective 1 July 2014.

The new SGLI premium rate is 7 cents per month per $1,000 of coverage. This increases the monthly premium rate for a member with maximum coverage of $400,000 from $27.00 to $29.00. (The premium includes an additional $1.00 per month for Traumatic Injury Protection coverage (TSGLI), which is mandatory and added automatically.).

Why is the SGLI premium going up? On 1 July 2008 the basic SGLI premium rate was lowered from 7 cents per month per $1,000 to 6.5 cents per month per $1,000 in order to reduce the SGLI contingency reserve (the program's net financial position) to its target level. As a result of the temporary premium reduction and the decline in investment income, the contingency reserve has now reached its target level. Unless the SGLI premium rate is adjusted back to 7 cents per month per $1,000, the contingency reserve will continue to decline, which would negatively impact the financial stability of the program.

What do I need to do? Active members and members of the Selected Reserve, don't need to take any action. They will see a change in the deduction from their pay in the Mid-Month July 2014 payday (15 July 2014).

Reservists drilling for points only or not receiving pay for other reasons will need to account for the higher premium in their payments (made in accordance with section 5.A.2.6. of the Personnel and Pay Procedures Manual, PPCINST M1000.2 (series)) beginning in July 2014.

SGLI Premium Rates Effective 1 July 2014

Coverage
Amount
Basic
Premium
Rate
TSGLI
Premium
Total Monthly
Premium Deduction
50,000$3.50$1.00$4.50
100,000$7.00$1.00$8.00
150,000$10.50$1.00$11.50
200,000$14.00$1.00$15.00
250,000$17.50$1.00$18.50
300,000$21.00$1.00$22.00
350,000$24.50$1.00$25.50
400,000$28.00$1.00$29.00


PPC Virtual Training Overview and Capability Testing

Published Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:30:16 CDT

The PPC Procedures and Development (P&D) branch is inviting all Servicing Personnel Offices to attend a brief overview of Defense Connect Online (DCO), the training platform that will be used to deliver the Human Capital Management System (HCMS) and Global Pay (GP) release scheduled for January 1, 2015. The presentation will take about 30 minutes of your time and will be used to evaluate connectivity and capability.

DATE: April 16, 2014
TIME: 1300 CDT
REGISTRATION: To register for the event please send an email to ppc-pf-pd@uscg.mil.

***Instructions for signing into the event will be sent upon receipt of your registration.***

To participate in the trial of the virtual classroom format please visit the following website prior to the session to test your system to make sure you have no connectivity issues. USCG standard workstations and mobile devices are compatible with this delivery format. ***If prompted to install an Adobe add-in please continue, the install is USCG approved and does not require IT assistance.***

https://connect.dco.dod.mil/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

*** YOU WILL NEED SPEAKERS OR HEADPHONES TO HEAR THE PRESENTATION AND A CONNECTION TO THE INTERNET***

All inquiries may be directed to PPC Procedures and Development Branch at 785-339-2225 or PPC-PF-PD@USCG.MIL.

I look forward to your attendance!

Respectfully,

Karen S. Emmot
Supervisor Training Specialist
Procedures and Development
USCG Pay and Personnel Center


Congratulations Sector Charleston, 2013 Coast Guard DEERS/RAPIDS Site of the Year

Published Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 16:30:16 CDT

UNCLAS //N01650//
ALCGPSC 050/14
SUBJ: 2013 USCG DEERS/RAPIDS SITE OF THE YEAR

1. It is my distinct pleasure to announce Sector Charleston as the 2013 Coast Guard Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)/Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) Site of the Year. Each Coast Guard site was evaluated on the following criteria:

A. Common Access Card (CAC) failure rate.
B. Maintaining satisfactory utilization rates.
C. Maintaining two or more certified Site Security Managers at all times.
D. Returning equipment in a proper and timely manner.

2. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness selected Sector Charleston for its outstanding performance in support of the DEERS/RAPIDS program during the period of 1 Oct 2012 through 30 Sep 2013. Sector Charleston received 100 points in the rating evaluation and was the only site to receive 100 points in the Coast Guard site ranking. Their superior service to all active duty, reserve, retired members, civilians, contractors, and eligible beneficiaries while maintaining exceptionally low CAC failure rates, workstation utilization and overall customer satisfaction reflects great credit upon the U.S. Coast Guard and its continuing partnership with the Department of Defense. Further, the dedication to reduce fraud and abuse while producing Uniformed Services Identification Cards by Sector Charleston is highly commendable.

3. Congratulations to Sector Charleston, Semper Paratus.

4. POC: Ms. Jacqueline H. Smith, USCG DEERS/RAPIDS Project Officer, 703-872-6642.

5. RDML Dave Callahan, Commander, CG Personnel Service Center, sends

6. Internet release authorized.


Update to 2014 U. S. Coast Guard Critical Housing Areas (CHA)

Published Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 14:30:16 CDT

Effective 20 March 2014, per ALCGPSC message 049/14, Greenville, MS (zip code 38701) is designated a Critical Housing Area.

Members with dependents who are issued PCS orders to a Critical Housing Area (CHA) designated unit, or a unit located in a CHA designated Military Housing Area (MHA), and who have no intention of relocating their dependents to that unit, may submit a Housing Allowance Protection Worksheet (CG-2025A). Members who are authorized a Housing Allowance based on the payment of child support are not eligible to submit a CG-2025A under the CHA policy.

ALCGPSC 001/14 announces the Military Housing Areas (MHA), Country Cost Groups (CCG), and zip codes that meet the eligibility criteria for continued designation as a CHA, and removes those that no longer meet the criteria. ALCGPSC 049/14 added Greenville, MS to the listing effective 20 March 2014.

For 2014 the following MHAs and zip codes continue to be designated as a Coast Guard CHA:

  1. Abbeville, LA (Zip Code 70511)
  2. Buxton/Hatteras, NC (Zip Code 27943)
  3. Brownsville, TX (MHA TX 281)
  4. Coastal Maine (MHA ME141) with the exception of Zip Code 04679
  5. Demopolis, AL (Zip Code 36732)
  6. Greenville, MS (zip code 38701), effective 20 March 2014
  7. Keokuk, IA (Zip Code 52632)
  8. Montauk, NY (Zip Code 11954)
  9. Port OConnor, TX (Zip Code 77982)
  10. Station Menemsha, MA (MHA MA151)
  11. Station Yankeetown, FL (Zip Code 34498)
  12. Station Provincetown, MA (Zip Code 02657)
  13. Venice, LA (Zip Code 70091)


Retirement Certificates

Published Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:30:16 CDT

Due to the Change of Watch in May, anyone retiring after that time period will not receive a retirement certificate and spousal certificate of appreciation until after the signature of the new Commandant has been received by RAS.

The Presidential certificate will be mailed along with a letter asking for information on where to send the certificates once the signature has been received. The wording to the certificates can be provided so that it can be read at upcoming retirement ceremonies.

Reminder, Retirement Certificates Must Be Pre-Ordered:

Effective with retirements on 1 April or later, PPC discontinued pre-mailing retirement certificates. For retirements effective 1 May or later, retirement certificates must be requested by the member's unit using the web form at http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ras/CertificateRequest.asp. The unit must submit the certificate request at least 30 days prior to the date planned for the member's retirement ceremony.


March 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete

Published Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 13:30:16 CDT

March Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs) Posted: LESs for March are available. Go to 'View Paycheck' in Direct Access under Employee Self Service to view.

The military payday for End Of Month (EOM) March 2014 is 1 April. Payday falls on the 1st and 15th of each month unless that date is a weekend or federal legal holiday. In those cases, the payday is moved to the 1st preceding business day. For the 2014 schedule of military paydays visit: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/mas.asp#2014.

March Reserve Points Statements Posted: Reserve retirement point data for March 2014 is available. Go to 'View Reserve Points' in Direct Access under Self Service to view.


Training Opportunity: SGLI Program Overview

Published Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2014 10:30:16 CDT

By Wendy Eberle, Prudential
Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
973-548-6681

An Overview of the SGLI Program is being offered to all branches of service on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 2 p.m. Eastern. The training will be done by phone, so no travel is involved.

Who Should Attend?

The session is designed for Branch of Service Casualty Officers, clerks and human resource staff. You are welcome to invite others who you think might benefit.

What will it cover?

Here are the topics we'll cover:

  • Program History
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
  • Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
  • Accelerated Benefit Option (ABO)
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
  • Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
  • Payment Options
  • Q&A

When and How to Register

Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Email Wendy Eberle (wendy.eberle@prudential.com) by March 19, 2014.

The training material and dial in information will be provided to all registered participants by Wednesday, March 19, 2014

If you have additional questions about this training, please feel free to contact Wendy Eberle (wendy.eberle@prudential.com) at 973-548-6681 for clarification.


Advance Dislocation Allowance and Mandatory Housing Assignment

Published Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16:30:16 CST

Many SPOs have requested additional guidance on the policy for advance payment of Dislocation Allowance (DLA) due to the implementation of Mandatory Assignment to CONUS Coast Guard-Owned Housing this transfer season.

Per Coast Guard Housing Manual, COMDTINST M11101.13 (series), paragraph 3.B.2, members in receipt of permanent change of station (PCS) orders must submit an Application for Assignment to Military Housing, Form CG-5267, and a copy of their PCS orders to the housing officer at their new duty station. The housing officer will verify the application and dependent information and determine the member's eligibility and bedroom requirement for housing. A Status of Housing Availability, DD Form 1747, must be completed within five days of receiving the application in order to notify members of their control date and the estimated date of assignment. The comments section of the DD Form 1747 must include one of the following statements:

  1. Coast Guard owned family housing is available and assignment is mandatory;
  2. Coast Guard owned family housing is not available;
  3. Coast Guard UPH is available and assignment is mandatory;
  4. Coast Guard UPH is not available; or
  5. Released from mandatory assignment to government housing.

The housing assignment policy does not change anything about advance payment of DLA. The policy is:

  • If a member with dependents will be entitled to DLA in connection with the PCS move, per the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR), Volume 1, Chapter 5, Part G., an advance of up to 80% of the DLA amount is authorized.
  • If a member without dependents is released from mandatory assignment to government housing (The supporting document for the release is the DD-1747 as completed by the housing officer at the new PDS) and will be entitled to DLA in connection with the PCS move, per the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR), Volume 1, Chapter 5, Part G., an advance of up to 80% of the DLA amount is authorized.

The following resources are available for more information on DLA or housing policy:


North Carolina State Income Tax Withholding Changes for 2014

Published Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:30:16 CST

North Carolina (NC) Residents Must Submit New Withholding Allowance Certificates for 2014

Source: http://www.dornc.com/press/2013/nc4requirement.html

The North Carolina General Assembly recently enacted the Tax Simplification and Reduction Act which becomes effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. Under this new law, all taxpayers will pay a lower rate and be granted a higher standard deduction. Taxpayers may no longer claim a personal exemption for themselves, their spouse, children, or any other qualifying dependents. Additionally, many deductions and tax credits that impact North Carolina withholding tax are no longer available for tax years beginning on or after January 1.

As a result of this Act, every employer must have all employees provide a new Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, either Form NC-4 EZ (http://www.dornc.com/downloads/nc4ez.pdf) or Form NC-4 (http://www.dornc.com/downloads/nc4.pdf).

  • The new form must be completed by the member and provided to the member's SPO so the correct amount of State income tax is withheld for any payment periods beginning on or after January 1, 2014.
  • Coast Guard military personnel may submit their withholding changes via Direct Access Self Service in lieu of completing either Form NC-4 EZ or Form NC-4. Follow the instructions in the Direct Access online help to update your state tax information: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ps/self_service/members/change_state_tax_information.htm.

If a new form is not submitted or if you do not update your state tax withholding in Direct Access Self Service, PPC will change your NC state income tax withholding to Single and 0 allowances in May.

NC State Income Tax for Military Personnel

Source: Source: http://www.dornc.com/taxes/individual/military.html

If you are serving in the United States Armed Forces and your domicile (legal residence) is North Carolina, you must pay North Carolina income tax and North Carolina income tax should be withheld from your military pay, regardless of where you are stationed. Domicile or legal residence is an individual's permanent home. Your legal residence does not change even though you may be absent for one or more years unless you intend to change your state of residence and you take voluntary and positive actions to do so. Actions that demonstrate your intent to establish a new state of residence include: physical presence in a new location, registration of automobiles, location of bank accounts, and filing and paying local property and income tax in the new location. Without such actions, residency is not changed. A statement that a servicemember intends to carry out these actions at a later date is not sufficient.

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, if you are a legal resident of another state who is stationed in North Carolina on military orders, you will not be taxed on your military pay by North Carolina. However, if you receive income from non-military employment, tangible property or a business located in North Carolina, you must pay the North Carolina tax on that income.

Questions

Direct questions regarding NC state income taxes to the NC Department of Revenue. Contact information is available on their web site at http://www.dornc.com/aboutus/phones.html.

Direct questions regarding Coast Guard Direct Access procedures and issues to PPC Customer Care via the web form at http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ccb or by phone (785) 339-2200, or toll-free (866) 772-8724.


PPC Customer/SPO Newsletter

Published Date: Mon, 03 Mar 2014 15:30:16 CST

Issue 02/14 (February)PDF FORMAT of the PPC Customer Newsletter (formerly the SPO Newsletter) is now available.

In this issue:

  • DD-214, Block 11, Primary Specialty
  • 2014 Payroll Processing Schedule
  • February 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete
  • Tips for Direct Access - W4 Information
  • 2014 Paydays
  • PAO Training Requirements
  • May 14 SWE PDEs Posted
  • CG Standard Workstation Account Transfer (Tech Tip)
  • Transfer to a non-CG unit/position (Tech Tip)
  • VGLI - Protect Your Family
  • DEERS Enrollment of Newborns
  • Tax Refund Anticipation Loans
  • JFTR Change 327
  • STAO/GetThere Changes
  • Cancellation of Training Travel Orders due to Inclement Weather
  • Direct Access / Global Pay Primer (Flag Voice)
  • North Carolina State Income Tax Withholding Changes for 2014

Pay & Personnel Center Customer Newsletter Issue 02/14 (February)PDF FORMAT


DD-214 Block 11, Primary Specialty

Published Date: Mon, 03 Mar 2014 12:30:16 CST

A data quality review of DD-214 forms exposed ongoing issues with the content of block 11, Primary Specialty Number, Title and Years and Months in Specialty. The data quality review showed that Competency Codes were mistakenly being entered in the block.

For officers, block 11 will only contain Officer Specialty Code(s), titles and years and months assigned. Although Officer Specialty Codes and Competency Codes are both stored in Direct Access under the Person Profile as "competencies", they are not the same. A Competency Code is not an Officer Specialty Code.

SPOs will follow the guidance in the SPO Manual, Part VI, Chapter 6, for DD-214 completion. The Block 11 instructions are repeated below:

Block 11. Primary Specialty Number, Title and Years and Months in Specialty.

For enlisted personnel, enter "N/A" in the Description field and leave the Competency, Year Acquired and Last Used fields blank (Ref: COMDTINST M1900.4 (series), Para 1-E).

For CWOs, enter the specialty (e.g., For "PERS" enter "Personnel Administration").

For Officers, the instructions in COMDTINST M1900.4 (series), Para 1-E, are no longer valid because the Officer Experience Indicators were removed from the Register of Officers (COMDTINST M1427.2 (series)) and are no longer available. The Coast Guard transitioned to a new Officer Specialty Management System (OSMS) (See http://www.uscg.mil/psc/opm/Opm3/opm-3OSMS.asp for more information and status updates). The majority of O-4s and above as well as many Direct Commission Officers and CWO-LTs of all paygrades have OSCs assigned. If any OSC is assigned to the officer in DA, enter it (Code and Description) in Block 11. If no OSC is assigned the officer should contact PSC-OPM-3 directly and they will address the initial assignment.

Valid OSCs are listed in the "Competency Dictionary" (Second tab of the worksheet). Do not enter any competency code in the block 11 fields. Only Officer Specialty Codes are valid for block 11. The system (DA) pulls in the assigned code IF one is assigned.

Questions:

Direct questions regarding DD-214 policy to Commandant (CG-1331), Ms. Teresa Marshall, phone - (202) 475-5391, E-mail - Teresa.Marshall@uscg.mil.

Direct questions regarding Officer Specialty Codes to the appropriate point of contact listed on the OSMS web page (http://www.uscg.mil/psc/opm/Opm3/opm-3OSMS.asp) or the OSMS Program Manager, Mr. Brandon Chittum, CG Personnel Service Center, Officer Evaluations Branch, (OPM-3), phone - (703) 872-6467, E-mail - Brandon.F.Chittum@uscg.mil.

Direct questions regarding Direct Access procedures and issues to PPC Customer Care.


Direct Access - Global Pay Primer

Published Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:30:16 CST

Source: FLAG VOICE #414, DIRECT ACCESS/GLOBAL PAY PRIMER

The Coast Guard migrated to Direct Access in 2000. The engine behind Direct Access is PeopleSoft HRMS. PeopleSoft, supplemented by other special purpose software systems (e.g., JUMPS, MRTT), is the substance of our Human Capital Management System (HCMS).

For a variety of reasons, we chose to customize PeopleSoft over the years. Each change in the wording of headings, data names, or process names to make them sound "less like a business" and "more like the Coast Guard" meant that when updates from the software vendor were applied, all the changes had to be made again and again, with considerable cost and rework. Our version of PeopleSoft, version 8.0, was deployed in 2000. Fourteen years later, in 2014, that's like a century in "computer years." Our version is so old that Oracle stopped supporting it in 2008. That's one reason we are updating our HCMS - to eliminate customization, catch up with the technology, and get back to as close to "off the shelf'" as we can.

Continue reading FLAG VOICE #414, DIRECT ACCESS/GLOBAL PAY PRIMERPDF Icon.


Tips for Direct Access - W4 Information

Published Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:30:16 CST

LT Brad Hanover, CPA, CGFM, Deputy Comptroller, CG FINCEN (dc)

Within Direct Access, members may change their allowances for federal tax withholding under Tasks/W-4. Common reasons for members to use this tool is after marriage or birth of a child. We should counsel members prior to using this tool, as changes can have significant impacts on their federal tax withholdings. Changes should not be considered lightly, and members should seek guidance before making changes.

If not used correctly, this can result in too little taxes held from their pay and end up owing federal tax. This situation most often occurs when members select two allowances (themselves and spouse) and both work. The withholding amount is calculated based on expected pay, number of dependents, the tax withholding requirements from the IRS and your state of legal residence, and changed automatically such as when serving in a Combat Zone Tax Exemption area.

You can adjust your tax withholdings based on that information to make sure enough is withheld each year, or to make sure the Service is not withholding too much. Online, the IRS has a site to assist with calculating tax withholdings. Link: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator.


February 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete

Published Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 10:30:16 CST

February Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs) Posted: LESs for February are available. Go to 'View Paycheck' in Direct Access under Employee Self Service to view.

The military payday for End Of Month (EOM) February 2014 is 28 February. Payday falls on the 1st and 15th of each month unless that date is a weekend or federal legal holiday. In those cases, the payday is moved to the 1st preceding business day. For the 2014 schedule of military paydays visit: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/mas.asp#2014.

February Reserve Points Statements Posted: Reserve retirement point data for February 2014 is available. Go to 'View Reserve Points' in Direct Access under Self Service to view.


May 2014 SWE Personal Data Extracts (PDEs) Posted

Published Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 14:30:16 CST

The PDEs for the upcoming May 2014 SWE have been posted to member accounts in DA. On the home page of Direct Access, the member may click the "more" link in the "View" column of the blue box titled "Employee". The link "SWE PDE" will be available to select and review the online PDE. Members are reminded that 1 February was the deadline to complete all eligibility requirements. However, 1 April is the PDE correction deadline to request corrections to any missing or incorrect data on the PDE.

For commands to view PDEs of their members, click either the "SWE PDE" link in the "Self Service for Commands" blue box on the DA home page (to see an individual members PDE), or click the "PDE By Dept Report" link to produce a file containing all PDEs for a specific department ID.

***NOTICE*** In order to more efficiently maintain historical records of customer inquiries and documentation, along with streamlining our customer service procedures, all customer service requests concerning SWE and EERs must now be submitted through the PPC Customer Care Branch rather than by directly contacting PPC(ADV) via phone or email. To submit your request please call 866-PPC-USCG (866-772-8724), or send your email to "PPC-DG-CustomerCare@uscg.mil", or go to our Customer Care Branch web page at http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ccb/ and select the "Trouble Ticket" tab and submit your request online. Underway units without connectivity may continue to use message traffic to PPC(ADV). Your help in this new procedure is greatly appreciated. We will continue to provide excellent customer service to all our customers through the Trouble Ticket process.


Training Opportunity: SGLI Program Overview

Published Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:30:16 CST

By Wendy Eberle, Prudential
Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
973-548-6681

An Overview of the SGLI Program is being offered to all branches of service on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 2 p.m. Eastern. The training will be done by phone, so no travel is involved.

Who Should Attend?

The session is designed for Branch of Service Casualty Officers, clerks and human resource staff. You are welcome to invite others who you think might benefit.

What will it cover?

Here are the topics we'll cover:

  • Program History
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
  • Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
  • Accelerated Benefit Option (ABO)
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
  • Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
  • Payment Options
  • Q&A

When and How to Register

Date: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Email Wendy Eberle (wendy.eberle@prudential.com) by February 18, 2014.

The training material and dial in information will be provided to all registered participants by Tuesday, February 18, 2014

If you have additional questions about this training, please feel free to contact Wendy Eberle (wendy.eberle@prudential.com) at 973-548-6681 for clarification.


Delayed Opening 5 February 2014

Published Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2014 19:30:16 CST

Due to inclement weather, PPC will opening at 1000 hrs. (CST) on Tuesday, 5 February 2014. Submit customer inquires during this period via the web form at http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ccb.


PPC Early Closure 31 January 2014

Published Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 13:30:16 CST

Due to inclement weather, PPC will be closed at 1400 hrs. (CST) on Friday, 31 January 2014. Submit customer inquires during this period via the web form at http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/ccb.


Veterans Group Life Insurance - Protect your family

Published Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 16:30:16 CST

Written by retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Charles D. Lee III.

Almost 34 years ago, I made a decision that would change my life forever. Joining the military was not a difficult choice. Growing up with reminders of the Vietnam War broadcast near the dinner hour, and living in a community in which the military uniform was abundant, helped soothe my transition into the U.S. Air Force. My career was fulfilling and full of hard work. Sacrificing family life for service to my country certainly had its rewards, but on July 24, 2009, a day I will never forget, everything changed.

My career started in mid-1980 and I began flying in late 1983. Although search and rescue was not my unit's primary mission, we responded to numerous aircraft mishaps and crashes within the next two and a half years. Nothing can prepare you for what you see when asked to help locate human remains at a crash site, but, I did it without question.

For the next two decades, I served as a flight engineer, spending a great deal of time in Southwest Asia, particularly during the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. With the addition of the European theatre (NATO), my numerous deployments -ranged from 30 days to eight months and included countless missions and flying hours.

I returned to Saudi Arabia July 24, 2009, and for the next three weeks experienced nightmares, night sweats, constant anxiety attacks and extreme weight loss. I returned home after being in country for only four weeks. My family physician referred me to VA and after extensive evaluation, I was diagnosed with delayed-onset Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. VA began an aggressive treatment plan to help me manage PTSD.

I was medically discharged from the Air Force while still being treated. While in the early stages of treatment, I failed to make the necessary connections for retirement and, most importantly, protection for my family in the event something happened to me.

I was shocked when I discovered that I couldn't get private life insurance because of my PTSD diagnosis. I contacted more than five private companies, and each one told me that I was uninsurable. When I had about given up, I got a phone call from the VA Insurance Outreach Unit. The stress from not being able to protect my family was lifted when they told me I qualified for Veterans Group Life Insurance.

VGLI is lifetime renewable group term insurance that is available to active duty, Reserve and Guard Service members who separate with Service members' Group Life Insurance coverage. Members must apply within one year and 120 days of separating from service, or of being placed in the Individual Ready Reserve.

It's important to remember that you can qualify for VGLI insurance without answering health questions if you convert your SGLI to VGLI within 240 days of separation or of being placed on Individual Ready Reserve. I highly recommend that you protect your family in those first 240 days so that you don't have to worry, like I did, about whether you will qualify for insurance.

I hope my story will serve as a testament for Veterans, because I feel that no matter how each one of us separates from the military, VA is there to help make the transition to a civilian life a little easier.

This article originally appeared on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs blog.

Links from pages within this site to non-Coast Guard sites are provided as a customer service and do not represent any implicit or explicit endorsement by the United States Coast Guard of any commercial or private issues or products presented there.

NOTE: Outside links will open in a new browser window.


Thinking about a tax refund anticipation loan? DoD regulation limits interest rates for military, families

Published Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 15:30:16 CST

Most of us have heard the horror stories of payday loan offices and used car lots charging military members interest rates that are through the roof. Some service members find it difficult to get out of a cycle of debt that grows faster than they can repay.

DoD was tasked by law (National Defense Authorization Action for Fiscal Year 2007) to draft a Predatory Lending regulation which protects service members and their families from unscrupulous loan products. The regulation was written and enforcement began on October 1, 2007, and sets the max interest rate allowed is 36 percent.

Military members and families are often targeted by payday lenders. Payday loans are short-term cash loans based on the borrower's personal check held for future deposit or electronic access to the borrower's bank account. Borrowers write a personal check for the amount borrowed plus the finance charge and receive cash. In some cases, borrowers sign over electronic access to their bank accounts to receive and repay payday loans. Lenders hold the checks until the next payday when loans and the finance charge must be paid in one lump sum. To pay a loan, borrowers can redeem the check for cash, allow the check to be deposited at the bank, or just pay the finance charge to roll the loan over for another pay period.

Since October 2007, the Federal regulation has prohibited creditors from making payday loans, vehicle title loans and tax refund anticipation loans to active duty service members and their dependents with annual percentage rates over 36 percent. Knowing the rules can help military members understand their rights, and to report violators to their Coast Guard Legal Assistance office.

To avoid debt, consider financial management courses and personalized support from financial management specialists offered through CGSuprt.

Coast Guard Personnel now have FREE access to a personal financial management program, My Secure Advantage (MSA).

CGSuprt is pleased to offer all eligible Coast Guard Personnel enhanced personal financial management services with our new Financial Wellness program, MY Secure Advantage. The program provides one on one Money Coaching, a personalized website with helpful tools and calculators, Financial Education classes and more!

A Money Coach provides live Financial Education webinars twice a month on a variety of financial topics, with a brief Q and A session at the conclusion of the presentation. Registration for the webinars is open to all eligible Coast Guard Personnel and their family members.

You may work with a Money Coach on topics such as Debt, Budgeting, Spending, Retirement, Taxes, Credit, Investing and much more. This program is packed with many more benefits and includes fun raffles and prizes for items such as gift cards, apple TV's and ipads! Call 855-CGSUPRT to get started and ask for the MSA Financial Wellness Benefit!

To activate your personal Money Coaching website, please CLICK HERE.

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Mandatory Online Training Requirements for Payment Approving Officials

Published Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 15:00:16 CDT

E-Mail ALSPO message C/11 announced two online courses for Payment Approving Officials (PAOs) at Coast Guard Servicing Personnel Offices (SPOs). The training requirments were added to Part I, Chapter 2, of the PPC SPO Manual, PPCINST M5231.3, in March 2011. All applicants for PAO designation must complete the courses for initial PAO designation. PAOs must repeat the online training courses annually in order to retain certification.

  • The PAO training (Course code 502360) establishes a formal PAO certification process that provides uniform training to all PAOs. It provides PAOs with a comprehensive skill set enabling them to perform their PAO duties in compliance with appropriation law and Treasury regulations. This training will result in a more competent PAO corps and will assist the USCG in earning clean audit opinions.
  • The Internal Controls over Financial Reporting (ICOFR) (Course code 810047) training contributes to the awareness of all personnel who cause to be conducted, conduct, or review/approve personnel transactions that have an impact on the creation of USCG financial data. The training content includes an overview of Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Circular A-123 and other documents that describe the federal requirements to have sufficient controls in place to ensure proper execution of financial transactions. In addition, the training provides participants with the background necessary to comply with federal requirements regarding the, entry, accuracy review, and approval of pay transactions that occur at all levels of the Coast Guard.Comprehensive understanding of these principles helps to strengthen the Coast Guard's internal control structure and also assists the USCG with earning clean audit opinions.

The PAO and ICOFR online training courses can be accessed via the Learning Management System (LMS) (https://elearning.uscg.mil/). Both courses are listed in the Acquisitions catalog.

Upon verification of the minimum requirements, and application approval, PPC will provide a formal letter of designation to the member, via the chain of command. The member can then be assigned the PAO competency code in Direct-Access.


Newborn and Child Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) Enrollment

Published Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 11:00:16 CDT

This article provides information relating to Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) enrollment for newborn children.

Newborn enrollment to the DEERS should occur as soon as possible, normally within 30-days. A child's enrollment in DEERS allows for timely medical care access to Military Treatment Facility (MTF) and TRICARE. In some instances, authorized TRICARE providers can enroll a newborn child within DEERS, known as a placeholder record, until confirmed by the military member/sponsor.

Documentation

The following documents are acceptable for DEERS enrollment at the nearest uniformed Services identification (ID) card issuing facility:

  • Certified original or copy of the child's birth certificate
  • Certificate of Live Birth, authenticated by an attending physician or responsible person from a U.S. hospital or Military Treatment Facility (This is often referred to as the "Hospital Birth Certificate").
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Foreign Services Form (FS-240)

Unmarried Children Born out of Wedlock, under the age of 21

A male military member/sponsor presents:

  • A court order that establishes paternity and the child's birth certificate
  • An approved dependency determination
  • A voluntary acknowledgement of paternity per USD P&R Memorandum, 28 Jan 08, Determinations of Dependency for Health Care Benefits for Out-of-Wedlock Children. to the ID Card Manual (COMDTINST M5512.1A) paragraphs 4.9.3 and 4.9.4, and Attachment 5, Rule 18e (1) and (2). NOTE: A determination of paternity is required at the time of the military member's/sponsor's death if no previous court order or voluntary acknowledgement of paternity was present in establishing the parent/child relationship.
  • A male military member/sponsor must process and receive an approved dependency and residency determination (reflecting over 50 percent support) to include presenting a child's birth certificate. NOTE: A birth certificate alone does not satisfy documentation requirements for a child born out of wedlock of a male member/sponsor. Refer to the ID Card Manual (COMDTINST M5512.1A) paragraphs 19.24 for Army sponsors, 20.17 for Navy sponsors, 21.21 for Air Force sponsors, 22.12 for Marine Corps sponsors, 23.5 for Coast Guard sponsors, 25.1.6 for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sponsors, and 25.1.7 for Public Health Service sponsors.
  • Each state maintains a procedure to allow a father to voluntarily acknowledge paternity of a child born out of wedlock. These state forms will be used to determine eligibility for a child DEERS enrollment. For more information on the voluntarily acknowledgement of paternity state forms. The military member/sponsor will present the notarized form to the nearest ID card issuance site to have the child added to DEERS. NOTE: The child may be enrolled at any time before their 21st birthday.
  • The state form and a birth certificate will be required to add the child to DEERS. Note: The forms will be scanned into DEERS as part of the enrollment process.
  • Once the child has been added to DEERS, the military member/sponsor will be provided 60 days to remove the child from DEERS. Note: After 60 days, the child will remain in DEERS as the military member's/sponsor's child until he/she is 21 or 23 if enrolled in a full time course of study at an institution of higher learning approved by the administering Secretary, and is dependent on the member or former member for over one-half of the child's support.

A female military member/sponsor present:

  • Her child's birth certificate.

A military member/sponsor who is the child's natural parent:

  • Presents a marriage certificate (between the military member/sponsor and the natural mother or father) and the child's birth certificate.

Tools

Authoritative/Related Resources


PPC Customer/SPO Newsletter

Published Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 14:30:16 CST

Issue 01/14 (January)PDF FORMAT of the PPC Customer Newsletter (formerly the SPO Newsletter) is now available.

In this issue:

  • Imminent Danger Pay
  • 2014 Payroll Processing Schedule
  • January 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete
  • MAC Ease Allotments
  • 2014 Paydays
  • 2014 BAH Rates
  • New Mileage Rates
  • CG Standard Workstation Account Transfer (Tech Tip)
  • Transfer to a non-CG unit/position (Tech Tip)
  • Arkansas State Tax
  • Avoid These Common Errors on Travel Claims
  • Critical Housing Areas
  • SPO Realignment, Phase I Implementation
  • E-File Your 2013 Tax Return for Free!
  • SOCSS or TOSS, What's the Difference?
  • Are Your Accession Contract Dates Right?

Pay & Personnel Center Customer Newsletter Issue 01/14 (January)PDF FORMAT


Advancements, Evaluations, Service Validation and Personnel Data Corrections Newsletter

Published Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:30:16 CST

The Winter 2014 edition file in adobe pdf format of the Coast Guard Pay and Personnel Center Advancements (ADV) Branch Newsletter is now available.

The ADV Newsletter provides information on servicewide exams, advancements, enlisted employee reviews, service validation and personnel data corrections.

The Winter 2014 edition includes the following articles:

  • Statement of Creditable Service (SOCS) or Transcript of Sea Service (TOSS), What's the Difference?
  • Servicewide Exam Waivers for Leadership and Management School (LAMS)
  • Coast Guard Message System (CGMS) Woes
  • Disciplinary Action, what next?
  • Documents Needed to Complete a Statement of Creditable Service (SOCS)
  • Are Your Accession Contract Dates Right?
  • New Reserve Policy Manual
  • New Striker Requirements

PPC Advancements (ADV) Branch Newsletter Winter 2014 file in adobe pdf format


Are Your Accession Contract Dates Right?

Published Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:30:16 CST

By: Ginger Farmer, PPC (ADV-PDC)

There continues to be confusion on calculating contract dates for accessions. To help with this, below is a reminder on some of the more confusing dates and basic information on how to calculate the dates for your accession:

Active Duty Base Date:

  • The ADBD must be filled in on all accessions. For reservists, it will be equal to the pay entry base date (PEBD).
  • If the member has no prior service, enter the date of enlistment/appointment.
  • With no prior service, the Active Duty Base Date must be equal to the Contract Begin Date, Pay Entry Base Date, and Effective Date for Pay Allowance.
  • If the member has prior service, or had a break in service, see Appendix (C) of the Personnel and Pay Procedures Manual (PPPM) for computation rules for recalculating dates.

AD Pay Scale Date:

  • Enter Date of Hire or Rehire.

Contract Begin Date:

  • Enter the date of enlistment or date the oath of office is effective (commissioning date).
  • Enter Date of Hire or Rehire (Date of the current contract).

DIEMS Date:

  • Enter date of original hire into the military.

Expected AD Term Date:

  • Enter the Expected Active Duty Termination Date on the member.
  • Regular Enlisted -- The member's expected release date from active duty.
  • Regular Officer -- The 30 year commission service date (including all commissioned time in an uniformed service).
  • Reserve Enlisted and Reserve Officer - Blank.

Expected Loss Date:

  • The Expected Loss Date is the date the member will have no further reserve and/or active duty obligation.
  • For regular and reserve enlisted members this date will be the same as "Date Completed Military Obligation" or the Contract End Date, whichever is greater. Example: Enlistment in the CG Reserve on 1 April 2009 with no prior service (8-year initial service obligation). Date Completed Military Obligation 31 March 2017. Expiration of Enlistment/ Contract End Date 31 March 2017. Expected Loss Date 31 March 2017.
  • For NOAA officers this will be the day before the officer's 60th birthday.
  • For reserve officers use the same date as the Expected End Date of the contract.

Job Family Entry Date:

  • Enter date member first became rated in current rating (ie. SNBM, AET3...). Retrieve from DA at Main Menu > Develop Workforce > Plan Careers > Use > CG Member Info. Located on the "Background" tab.

MIL Obligation Completion Date:

  • Enter 8 years from original DIEMS date unless prior discharge authorized under an approved program (ie., VOLSEP).

Pay Allowance Date:

  • Enter Date of Hire or Rehire.

Point SWE Date:

  • This date may only be adjusted by PPC(ADV). Retrieve from DA at Main Menu > Develop Workforce > Plan Careers > Use > CG Member Info. Located on the "Background" tab. If the date is blank on the CG Member Info page, enter the rehire date.

Pay Base Date:

  • If the member has no prior service, enter the date of enlistment/appointment.
  • With no prior service, the Pay Entry Base Date must be equal to the Contract Begin Date, Active Duty Base Date and Effective Date Pay Allowance. For an OCS accession, these dates should be set to the date the candidate, with no prior service, enlisted.
  • If the member has prior service and a break in service, the Pay Entry Base Date will need to be recalculated. See Appendix (C) of the Personnel and Pay Procedures Manual (PPPM) for computation rules for recalculating dates.


SOCSS or TOSS, What's the Difference?

Published Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 12:30:16 CST

By: Al Wiggs, PPC (ADV-SV)

There seems to be some uncertainty between a SOCSS (Statement of Creditable Sea Service) and a TOSS (Transcript of Sea Service).

A SOCSS, PPC form 1072, is a record verification of all the accumulated sea time that is creditable toward career sea pay for a Coast Guard member. This credit may include non-Coast Guard afloat time recorded on a DD-214 for prior service members. This time may also include time spent at a non-vessel unit, such as a LEDET or TAD/TEMDU assignment where sea pay accrues. A SOCSS would not record sea time aboard a vessel when sea pay was not payable, such as when a member's Career Sea Pay (CSP) and CSP time is suspended for periods over 30 days absence from their vessel due to temporary duty or hospitalization ashore. A SOCSS will not add (except for prior service) or reduce sea time for a member where that time is not supported by Direct Access or JUMPS input from the SPO.

A TOSS, PPC form 1075, is a record of all the time a Coast Guard member was assigned to a vessel and/or receiving sea pay. The term "vessel" is defined in the Coast Guard Pay Manual, COMDTINST M7220.29 (series), and does not include small boats. Sea pay may or may not have been payable for all the time assigned. A TOSS is not used in determining sea pay longevity but a TOSS's sole purpose is to support an application for a Merchant Mariner licensing.


January 2014 Military Payroll Processing Complete

Published Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:30:16 CST

January Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs) Posted: LESs for January are available. Go to 'View Paycheck' in Direct Access under Employee Self Service to view.

The military payday for End Of Month (EOM) January 2014 is 31 January. Payday falls on the 1st and 15th of each month unless that date is a weekend or federal legal holiday. In those cases, the payday is moved to the 1st preceding business day. For the 2014 schedule of military paydays visit: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/mas.asp#2014.

January Reserve Points Statements Posted: Reserve retirement point data for January 2014 is available. Go to 'View Reserve Points' in Direct Access under Self Service to view.


State Tax Exemption Status for Residents or Arkansas

Published Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:30:16 CST

Per the Arkansas 2013 Legislative Session, Act 1408, effective for taxable years beginning on or after 1 January 2014, all military pay received by active duty or reserve members of the Armed Forces is excluded from Arkansas State income tax.

The military pay exclusion applies to all military members who claim Arkansas as their state of legal residence, regardless of where the member is stationed.

Effective 1 January 2014, PPC stopped withholding of state income tax for members claiming Arkansas as their state of legal residence. No SPO action is required for current Arkansas residents unless the SPO is notified by PPC that manual entry is required.

When establishing or changing state of legal residency to Arkansas enter the State Code "AR" in the State Info section of the Employee Tax Data, State Tax Data 1 tab and select "Exempt and do not withhold tax" in the Special Tax Status field as shown below. The Resident and UI Jurisdiction checkboxes are required and are marked by default.

The state tax data tab in DA

The Marital Status and Number of Exemptions do not apply. Their default values, which are carried over from the Federal Tax Data tab, will not be passed to JUMPS.

The Arkansas tax exemption will be incorporated into the applicable sections of the Personnel and Pay Procedures Manual, PPCINST M1000.2(series), Chap 8-B and the Servicing Personnel Office Manual, PPCINST M5231.3, Part 2, Pay Entitlements, Chap 13, Tax Withholding.

Members should contact the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration at (501) 682-1100 or visit http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/incomeTax/individual/Pages/default.aspx if they have questions about the exemption or filing their state income tax returns or they should contact their local legal assistance attorney.


Training Opportunity: SGLI Program Overview

Published Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 14:30:16 CST

By Wendy Eberle, Prudential
Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
973-548-6681

An Overview of the SGLI Program is being offered to all branches of service on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 2 p.m. Eastern. The training will be done by phone, so no travel is involved.

Who Should Attend?

The session is designed for Branch of Service Casualty Officers, clerks and human resource staff. You are welcome to invite others who you think might benefit.

What will it cover?

Here are the topics we'll cover:

  • Program History
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
  • Family Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
  • Accelerated Benefit Option (ABO)
  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
  • Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
  • Payment Options
  • Q&A

When and How to Register

Date: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time
Registration: Email Wendy Eberle (wendy.eberle@prudential.com) by Jan. 20, 2014.

The training material and dial in information will be provided to all registered participants by Tuesday, January 21, 2014

If you have additional questions about this training, please feel free to contact Wendy Eberle (wendy.eberle@prudential.com) at 973-548-6681 for clarification.


2014 U. S. Coast Guard Critical Housing Areas (CHA)

Published Date: Thu, 09 Jan 2014 17:30:16 CST

Members with dependents who are issued PCS orders to a Critical Housing Area (CHA) designated unit, or a unit located in a CHA designated Military Housing Area (MHA), and who have no intention of relocating their dependents to that unit, may submit a Housing Allowance Protection Worksheet (CG-2025A). Members who are authorized a Housing Allowance based on the payment of child support are not eligible to submit a CG-2025A under the CHA policy.

ALCGPSC 001/14 announces the Military Housing Areas (MHA), Country Cost Groups (CCG), and zip codes that meet the eligibility criteria for continued designation as a CHA, and removes those that no longer meet the criteria.

For 2014 the following MHAs and zip codes continue to be designated as a Coast Guard CHA:

  1. Abbeville, LA (Zip Code 70511)
  2. Buxton/Hatteras, NC (Zip Code 27943)
  3. Brownsville, TX (MHA TX 281)
  4. Coastal Maine (MHA ME141) with the exception of Zip Code 04679
  5. Demopolis, AL (Zip Code 36732)
  6. Keokuk, IA (Zip Code 52632)
  7. Montauk, NY (Zip Code 11954)
  8. Port OConnor, TX (Zip Code 77982)
  9. Station Menemsha, MA (MHA MA151)
  10. Station Yankeetown, FL (Zip Code 34498)
  11. Station Provincetown, MA (Zip Code 02657)
  12. Venice, LA (Zip Code 70091)


U. S. Coast Guard Servicing Personnel Office (SPO) Alignment Phase I Execution

Published Date: Thu, 09 Jan 2014 15:30:16 CST

UNCLAS //N05360//
ALCGPSC 005/14
SUBJ: SPO Alignment Phase I Execution
A. CG-1 Flag Voice 373

1. Per Ref A, the Organization Modification Request (OMR) to execute Phase I of SPO Alignment was recently approved. During summer 2014 most SPOs within 50 miles of the 13 Bases and Base Detachment St. Louis will align pay functions at the Base SPOs. Personnel and Admin staffs will remain behind at the former SPOs to provide unit administrative support and customer service functions (e.g. existing ID Cards issuance facilities, TDY Travel Orders, SPO Liaison, etc.).

2. Beginning in January 2014, representatives from PSC, DOL and the YN RFMC will work with DOL and Base commands as well as impacted Sector and Air Station commands to develop execution plans.

3. Information pertaining to SPO alignment can be found at the following link: http://www.uscg.mil/psc/bops/. POCs for SPO alignment questions are Mrs. Emily Jennings PSC, Email: Emily.L.Jennings(AT)uscg.mil or CWO4 R.T. Downs DOL, Email: Robert.T.Downs(AT)uscg.mil.

4. RDML Dave Callahan, Personnel Service Center, sends.

5. Internet release authorized.

SPO Alignment Links:


U. S. Coast Guard Health Safety Work-Life Mobile Application

Published Date: Thu, 09 Jan 2014 13:30:16 CST
Download the USCG HSWL app today!

For those looking for information about the Coast Guard Support programs and services to Coast Guard members and their families, we now have an app for that! Available in the Apple App store just search for USCG HSWL or use this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uscg-hswl/id669218420?mt=8. The Android version is available through Google at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ravensolutions.coastguard&hl=en

Screen shot of menuThis application contains information about the many quality of life resources available for Coast Guard military and civilian personnel, family members, and retirees. The application includes information on work-life programs, as well as other individual and family support programs such as medical services, chaplain services, housing, legal assistance, and, morale, well-being, and recreation (MWR) services.

In addition, it provides general information about the Coast Guard, enables access to Coast Guard videos through YouTube (Wi-Fi recommended), and enables the user to access the Coast Guard Facebook and Blog feeds. The user can also find a unit Ombudsman using the "Ombudsman Locator" feature.

The user can select their unit for information broadcasts specific to their location and to get up to date information on what's happening with notifications and alerts on events, general announcements and information.

To select a Coast Guard unit:

  • Click on Media
  • Click on wheel in upper right corner
  • Select District
  • Select unit

Screen shot of search functionBy using the Find section, users can find the nearest location of various resources. Click on the light bulb icon and highlight the resource(s). Resources include:

  • CDCs
  • HSWL Regional Practices
  • Marine Corps Community Services
  • Fleet and Family Support Centers
  • DoD Military Treatment Facilities
  • Coast Guard Military Treatment Facilities
  • DoD ID Card locations
  • Coast Guard ID Card locations

NOTE: This is a large file that should be downloaded using Wi-Fi. This app requires IOS 5.0 or later (Apple) or 2.3 and up (Android).

Point of Contact
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please contact Ms. Christine DeGraw, at (202) 475-5142, or email at Christine.M.DeGraw@uscg.mil.


Free tax-filing service offered through CGSUPRT

Published Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2014 14:30:16 CST

The Internal Revenue Service 2014 tax season begins on Jan. 31. Starting Jan. 7, CGSUPRT will offer free 2013 tax return filing services from H&R Block. This free offer is only valid if you access H&R Block through the link on the CGSUPRT website.

Summary

You must start your return from the CG SUPRT H&R Block Tax Software link to access this free offer.

The IRS will begin processing efile returns on January 31, 2014. If you complete your returns with the H&R Block Tax Software service offered through CG SUPRT prior to the 31th of January, your files will be held in a pending status. Once efile opens, the system automatically submits the return to the IRS.

This is the same free tax preparation program you may have used in past years. So, if you created an H&R Block account last year, your login credentials for that account will still work and you will be able to access last year's personal tax information.

For technical assistance with the H&R Block Tax Software tool, please call 1-800-HRBLOCK (472-5625).

To learn more about the H&R Block Tax service, please see the FAQs.

If you have questions about this tax service or about your own tax returns, please call 855-CG SUPRT (247-8778) and ask to schedule an appointment with a CG SUPRT tax consultant. Trained tax consultants are available 5 days a week (Monday - Friday) from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., EST by appointment.

Best practices for filing your taxes

  • Have all of your documents and information ready when preparing your taxes-Social Security number, TIN's, W-2's, 1099 forms, expense documents, bank account information in case of refund, etc.
  • Be sure to disclose all of your income from the year-including wages, investments, etc.
  • Determine the best way to file for yourself-prepare your taxes online, paper file, or take them to a preparer.
  • File early-it's best to do it once you receive all of your documents, reducing the risk of misplacing them, reducing the wait time of receiving a refund, and/or avoiding penalties for late filing.
  • Know the deadline for filing your taxes-it is not always the same date every year. This year it is Monday, April 15, 2013.

Eligibility

The following are eligible for the CG SUPRT tax service:
  • All Active-duty and selected reserve members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Spouses and dependent children of the services noted above, and who are authorized in DEERS.
  • All civilian employees (GS) of the U.S. Coast Guard
  • Household members and dependents of U.S. Coast Guard civilian employees.

NOTE: Except as detailed above US Coast Guard members activated under Title 10 are not eligible for this service. These members should be referred to Military One Source at 1-800-342-9647 as they are eligible for tax assistance, under the Military OneSource tax service program.


Pentagon Announces Upcoming Changes to Imminent Danger Pay

Published Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2014 14:30:16 CST

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2014 - The Defense Department announced today changes in imminent danger pay that will go into effect June 1, DOD spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren told reporters here.

"This is a process that began [in 2011]," he said, and "included in-depth threat assessment from the combatant commands. It was made in coordination with the Joint Staff, combatant commands and military services."

Warren noted this policy change was not a budget-driven decision, but part of a routine recertification that "happens every couple of years -- it's an ongoing process."

According to a DOD news release announcing the recertification, the combatant commands conducted in-depth threat assessments for countries within their areas of responsibility.

Following the review, the release stated, it was determined that the imminent threat of physical harm to U.S. military personnel due to civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism or wartime conditions is significantly reduced in many countries, resulting in the discontinuation of imminent danger pay in those areas.

Periodic recertification of IDP, according to the news release, ensures that imminent danger designations match the actual conditions of designated countries so that the department can provide fair entitlements and benefits. The last recertification was completed in 2007.

The DOD news release noted the following areas would no longer be designated as imminent danger areas for IDP purposes:

  • The nine land areas of East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Oman, Rwanda, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
  • The six land areas and airspace above Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro.
  • The four water areas of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, and the Red Sea.
  • The water area and air space above the Persian Gulf.

"Of specific note," Warren said, "imminent danger pay will remain in effect for the following: Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and Egypt."

Although 2013 statistics are not currently available, Warren noted the year prior, 194,189 personnel received imminent danger pay.

"Approximately 50,000 less will be receiving imminent danger pay," he said. "In [2012], we spent approximately $500 million on imminent danger pay. This will result in a reduction of approximately $100 million."

The benefit provides troops in imminent danger areas about $7.50 per day up to the maximum monthly rate of $225, Warren said.


SPO News Archive 2013

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