By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (Nov. 08, 2004) -- Airmen will get one less piece of mail now that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service stopped sending paper leave and earnings statements this month.
Airmen will not go without the critical information the LES provides because it is now available via the service’s myPay Web site, said Colonel Patrick Coe, director of the Air Force Accounting and Finance Office.
"You can now access this information anywhere you have access to a computer," Colonel Coe said. "And most of the active-duty force already has a PIN for myPay. "
The information in the electronic LES is the same as the old, but the Air Force is looking for ways to expand and make the electronic version easier to use.
"Currently we are testing a 'smart LES' for civilians and hope to make it available to Airmen in the future,” he said. "This is an LES where you can click on some of the blocks, and a window comes up to explain the contents of the block."
The Air Force asked DFAS officials to stop providing the paper version to save nearly $4 million a year in printing and mailing costs. Another motive, Colonel Coe said, was to familiarize Airmen with the functions available on the site.
"Turning off the paper LES requires people to go out to the Web site to (get) information," Colonel Coe said. "This will expose them to (other functions)such as changing their allotments or looking at Thrift Savings Plan data."
Airmen can turn the paper version back on through myPay, but Air Force policy is that they receive it electronically. The option may be removed in the future.
"We are looking for the active-duty force to get used to a Web-based service," Colonel Coe said. "When we do our personal finances, how often do we walk into a financial institution like a bank? We do these things online. This really is a smart way to go -- the way of the future. The electronic LES is the first step."