BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center concentrated efforts during the month of February to reduce the inventory of retirement applications for Guard and Reserve members turning 60 years of age.
The Directorate of Personnel and Total Force Services (DPT) reallocated manning to serve the retirement section, increasing the number of technicians by 50 percent, and processing approximately 2,200 retirement orders to establish health and pay benefits.
“Our primary goal was to provide each age 60 retiree their retirement order to establish their health insurance and begin the process to receive their retirement pay,” said Richard Barshney, Retirement Lead Technician. “This effort also allowed us to reduce our current inventory so we can focus on innovation, automation and process improvement within the retirements section.”
Age 60 retirements are only one type of retirement HQ ARPC processes but it typically is the most time consuming to complete, according to Barshney. Retirees must first submit a myPers ticket with a completed AF Form 2656 in and ARPC Form 83 which can be found at https://www.arpc.afrc.af.mil/retirement/. Once the two forms are received by the retirement technician, confirmation notification is sent to the retiree as the technician begins the auditing process.
This auditing process may take a technician anywhere from one hour to two days depending on the case. During the audit, technicians must confirm the retirement application includes the member’s entire service history, verify the retiree’s point credit summary and ensure bank account information is included for pay.
Due to manning and system issues leading up to the surge, retirement specialists saw an increase in inventory stretching back several months until leadership reallocated manpower to tackle the problem.
As of March 1, HQ ARPC was processing applications for retirees turning 60 that month, and have continued processing the current month’s workload into April.
“Our goal is to be at least one month ahead and sustain that level of production,” Barshney said. “We aren’t there yet but now we are in a better position to reach that goal than we were at the beginning of the year.”
Title 10 law mandates retirees must apply for retirement pay benefits which requires them to initiate the process. It is recommended by HQ ARPC that retirees submit their application three to four months prior to their 60th birthday to allow enough time to process the order. Applications received prior to the recommended date will not be processed any earlier as applications are placed in the queue based on birth month or reduced retirement pay date, according to Lt. Col. Melissa Johnson, DPT Director of Operations.
“This three to four month lead time allows technicians to reach back to the retiree if they require any additional information and still process the order by the time they turn 60,” said Johnson. “It also allows both the retiree and technician time to adjust if there are any updates or changes to the process, such as the release of a new AF Form 2656.”
When the retirement order is processed by the technician, it is uploaded to the retiree’s myPers profile and a copy is mailed to the physical address on file. The order is also submitted to Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) for pay via an automated system when feasible, as well as regular mail, to establish a pay file.
According to Barshney, the key for current and former retirees is to understand the process and what is required of them. Retirees approaching age 60 no longer receive a notification in the mail with the steps required to receive their benefits. However, there are several tools at their disposal to find information on the process.
The HQ ARPC website https://www.arpc.afrc.af.mil is one tool that doesn’t require a CAC card or login. MyPers is another source of information where current or soon to be retirees are able to calculate their estimated retirement benefits and find instructions from the retirement technicians themselves. Finally, the Total Force Service Center is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-525-0102 for questions or to initiate a myPers ticket request.