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Highlights

GAO reviewed the retirement pay systems of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps to determine whether internal controls are in effect to ensure proper and correct payments to retirees and their families.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to ensure that internal controls over establishing new retirement pay accounts are strengthened.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Defense 2. The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to ensure that annuitants submit certificates of eligibility and, where appropriate, that payments to ineligible persons are promptly terminated and overpayments collected.
Closed - Implemented
Defense will test the implementation of procedures to improve control of annuitant payments. Testing will include use of scientific sampling, expansion of Air Force management practices to all military services, and enhancement of certification forms. Procedures for followup, termination of benefits, and collections will be standardized.
Department of Defense 3. The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to ensure that controls over payments to 18- to 23-year-old survivors attending school are improved.
Closed - Implemented
Defense will develop and test improved procedures for control of payments for 18- to 23-year-old survivors attending school. Enhancement will be based on Air Force management practices. Emphasis will be placed on the use of a standard form, common followup procedures, uniform steps for terminating benefits, and collection of overpayments.
Department of Defense 4. The Secretary of Defense should require the services to ensure that existing control techniques to identify deceased persons on the payment rolls are improved and to ensure that the feasibility of additional control techniques are considered, including requiring certifications of existence from retirees residing in the United States and expanding the computer death matches and performing them on a recurring basis.
Closed - Implemented
Defense will modify the use of report of existence from retirees residing in the United States to ensure better management control and more timely notice of deceased persons. Computer death matches will be conducted when cost effective.
Department of Defense 5. The Secretary of Defense should ensure that a central computerized data file is developed and used to identify recipients of readjustment and severance pay so that the services and the Veterans Administration can make required offsets to benefits paid.
Closed - Implemented
Defense will incorporate data on receipts of readjustment and severance pay within the existing database maintained by DMDC, with the cooperation of the military services.

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