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Title:Fleet Reserves Association Newsletter
In this week's NewsBytes: Early Retirement Program to be ImplementedRetiree Account Statements Deadline for FRA Education Foundation ScholarshipsMore VGLI Available for some Veterans Early Retirement Program to be Implemented Beginning January 1, 2012, the services are authorized to implement Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA). An FRA-supported provision (Section 504) in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, H.R. 1540) reinstates the TERA provision that will allow officers and noncommissioned officers to retire with at least 15 years of service and receive retired pay at a reduced rate. TERA was authorized from 1991 to 1996 in conjunction with force reductions during that period. In addition to retirement pay, the program includes TRICARE coverage and is not available for Coast Guard personnel because that service is not implementing involuntary separations. The DFAS website has not been updated to reflect this new change, but we'll publish details in future editions of NewsBytes and FRA Today as they become available. Retiree Account Statements Most military retirees will receive two annual Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Retiree Account Statements (RAS) by January 31, 2012. These two-page documents summarize pay, benefits and deductions, and provide other important retirement pay information. One statement (dated December 2, 2011) includes the new payment amount as of December 30, 2011, based on a 3.6-percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2012. Another statement (dated December 12, 2011) shows the new payment amount as of February 1, 2012, based on federal income tax adjustments caused by changes to the 2012 tax tables.A monthly electronic Retiree Account Statement (eRAS) is now available to all military retirees currently receiving retirement payments. The eRAS is only available on myPay, the official online account management system for DFAS. The statements are available by the first of each month, and date back to Nov. 1, 2011, when the eRAS was first offered. Retirees only need to register an email address in their myPay account, and DFAS can send an email reminder each month when individual statements are available.Visit for more information. If retirees cannot access myPay or they need a RAS that is no longer in their myPay account, they should fax a detailed written request to 800-469-6559 or mail it to DFAS Retired Pay, P.O. Box 7130, London, KY 40742-7130. Requests should be dated and must include your name, Social Security number and signature. Please specify exactly what information is needed and the dates that should be included in the statement. Deadline for FRA Education Foundation Scholarships The deadline to apply for FRA Education Foundation scholarships is April 15, 2012. The Foundation's board of directors encourages all eligible candidates to apply now for academic awards of up to $5,000. Applications are available online at Applicants must be affiliated with the Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, either through their own service or that of a spouse, parent or grandparent. FRA Education Foundation scholarships are funded through private donations, established trusts and corporate sponsorships, and recipients are selected based on financial need, academic standing, character and leadership qualities. The Foundation awarded more than $124,000 in scholarships last year and donations in any amount are welcome at any time.Some scholarships have very specific award criteria. The Hazel E. Benn Scholarship, for example, is available to children of Navy enlisted personnel who are serving or have served as a hospital corpsman assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps. Please visit for applications, to donate or obtain further information. More VGLI Available for some Veterans Veterans under age 60 that are currently covered under the Veterans Group Life Insurance program (VGLI) and have less than maximum coverage can now purchase additional coverage up to $400,000. Veterans can increase their coverage by $25,000 at each five-year anniversary date. The VGLI program allows newly discharged veterans to convert the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage they had while in the service. Veterans can request the additional coverage during the 120-day period prior to each five-year anniversary date. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has indicated that less than 22 percent of eligible veterans take advantage of this program. For additional information about VGLI go to: www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2244________________________________________NewsBytes is FRA's weekly legislative update. If you received this through a forward and would like to subscribe, please e-mail with "Subscribe" in the subject line and your name and address in the body. If you are a member of FRA or LA FRA, please include your member number as well. To unsubscribe, please respond to this email with "unsubscribe" in the message line.If you would like to hear a recorded version of NewsBytes, dial 1-800-FRA-1924 (ext. 112).To share your views on these and other important topics, visit and click on "News." Follow FRA on Twitter (@FRAHQ) and "like" FRA on Facebook (use the shortcut of )FRA is celebrating its 87 th anniversary and is the oldest and largest association representing the interests of current and former Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel. If you are not a member and are eligible, please join FRA at www.fra.org. The larger the membership base, the louder your voice is heard on Capitol Hill.
Date Posted: 01/22/2012 09:17