WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 2, 2007) - The Soldiers' Benefit Services Web site is now the Army's official one-stop resource for all benefits information.

Located at <a href="http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil"target=_blank>http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil</a>, the Web site contains the most current benefit information for active-duty and reserve-component Soldiers, retirees and Family members.

Active-duty Soldiers - to include Reservists and National Guard members serving on active duty - also have access to calculators that figure survivor, disability and retirement benefits. Users must have their Army Knowledge Online password to access current Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System data.

"We've realized that Soldiers do not really understand the benefits available to them," said Frank Emery, SBS program manager, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1.

"Previously Soldiers had to go to separate Web sites to gather information on their benefits. We've consolidated it all in one place, so now Soldiers and Families can get the best information - easier and faster."

The site features more than 150 fact sheets - in both English and Spanish - grouped by Army component, life event, index and state/territory. Subjects include pay, education, Family services, health care, life insurance, transitioning and retirement, Soldier services and social security.

Grouping information by state and territory helps users quickly find local information and sources, Mr. Emery said. A reserve-component Soldier in Alabama, for example, can click on that state to learn local tax information and get links to the closest installations.

The retirement calculator is so "simple," Mr. Emery said, that every Soldier considering their retirement options should use it to plan ahead. Numbers are already figured for Soldiers eligible for retirement. Soldiers planning before becoming eligible need only to key in what date they'd like to retire and the rank they expect to hold at the time.

Mr. Emery shared the calculator with an NCO considering retirement.

"This NCO was ready to retire, and his wife was ready, even though he was on the promotion list. But when I showed him how to use this tool and he entered a future retirement date with the higher rank, there was such a significant difference that he and his wife changed their minds," he said.

The site will also help Casualty Assistance Officers provide surviving Family members a clear, accurate report of benefits, he added.

In 2004, Congress mandated that the Army evaluate the benefits process and improve benefits understanding and awareness. After studying Soldiers' and Families' overall awareness regarding benefits, the Army created the SBS Web site protype, approved last year by the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1.

Page last updated Tue October 2nd, 2007 at 14:26