Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center recently introduced a virtual tracking status bar for Guard and Reserve members to monitor the status of their submitted retirement application.
The status bar provides the applicant a real-time snapshot of the status of their application. The status begins with “Coordination” following a successfully submitted application, to “Sent to DFAS” for initiation of retirement pay, and finally “Completed” at the conclusion of all retirement actions.
To view the status bar, applicants must navigate to the Action Request tab in the Virtual Personnel Center and select the Retirement Application Status link in the Retirements section.
“The virtual status bar was created to meet the needs of our customers,” said Mr. Rob Poe, Headquarters ARPC retirement supervisor. “We see a large amount of calls to the Total Force Service Center and myPers inquiries regarding the status of retirement orders. This status bar will allow retirees to get immediate updates on their application and provides an element of transparency to the process.”
The retirements section at Headquarters ARPC processes more than 10,000 retirement orders annually. These include orders for Airmen eligible for Reduced Retired Pay Age, active duty and AGR retirements, and retirements for reservists and guardsmen approaching age 60.
The first step for Airmen to apply for retirement pay is to submit DD Form 2656 through the automated system found in myPers. The completed form is then submitted to a retirements technician who conducts an audit on the member’s service history and other contributing factors relevant to retirement pay.
Once the audit is complete and the retirement order is produced, the retiree is able to download a copy of the retirement orders from myPers while Headquarters ARPC forwards a copy to DFAS for processing of payment.
“One of the great features the tracker provides is not only status updates here at HQ ARPC, but updates as the application passes through the system at DFAS,” Poe said. “Once the application is approved and is sent to DFAS, the tracker provides an ‘Ask DFAS’ reference number enabling the retiree to inquire with DFAS on the status of their retired pay.”
The visual tracking status bar is the latest in a number of innovative programs Headquarters ARPC has developed with the customer in mind.
“Applying for retirement pay is a once-in-a-lifetime event. We cannot expect the customer to be the expert so we’re working to make the process as user-friendly as possible,” said Col. Ashley Heyen, director of Personnel and Total Force Services Directorate. “The automated application process, the reduced retirement pay age application, and now the status bar are all examples of how (Headquarters) ARPC is creating innovative solutions to provide outstanding customer service for retirees.”