DFAS' MyPay catches on'retirees excepted

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service's online MyPay system has grown to 2.6 million users in just four years but is still encountering resistance from military retirees who miss the personal touch when changing and updating payment information.

'They still like to pick up the phone and talk to someone,' Jim Pitt, deputy director of e-commerce for DFAS' military and civilian pay services, said today at FOSE 2004 in Washington.

But that will change over time, Pitt said: 'It's an evolution thing. As current military members move into retirement, they will be used to using MyPay.'

MYPay, which went live in 2000, lets users view earnings and tax statements, update federal and state tax-withholding information, make address changes, and update bank account and electronic funds transfer information. Portal users need only a browser that supports 128-bit encryption.

Aside from reluctance from some retirees, MyPay has made great strides in user acceptance in four years, Pitt said. 'We knew the potential was there but we didn't know how quickly it would catch on.'

Moreover, the system represents the wave of the future for the Defense Department. 'It's the direction that the DOD wants to go'more electronic, less paper,' he said.

MyPay was the federal winner of a 2004 digital government award sponsored by Accenture Ltd. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Systems such as MyPay are on the leading edge of transforming the way government organizations do business, said Dan Greenwood, director of the e-commerce architectural project at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning.

When e-government systems 'have been socialized across the population, it will be the way people expect to do things,' Greenwood said.

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