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HR professionals can help spread the word
The U.S. Treasury Department is requiring that individuals applying for Social Security, veterans benefits or other federal benefits on or after May 1, 2011, will receive electronic payments. Those currently receiving federal benefit checks will need to switch to an electronic payment option by March 1, 2013.
A statement issued by the Treasury Department explained that:
According to the Treasury, having federal benefits paid electronically by direct deposit into the bank or credit union account of one’s choice or into a Direct Express card account is safer, faster and more reliable than receiving paper benefit checks.In 2010, more than 540,000 Treasury-issued checks were reported lost or stolen, and had to be reissued, according to the department.
With direct deposit, the Treasury sends an electronic message to the recipient’s bank or credit union account on the usual payment day with the exact amount of the benefit payment from Social Security, Veterans Affairs or other federal agency. "Recipients don’t have to worry about their money being stolen out of their mailbox and there’s no need to make a trip to cash or deposit a check. Plus, it’s better for the environment and saves taxpayer dollars," according to a Treasury statement.
HR Can Help
HR professionals can use the Treasury's
Go Direct campaign to inform employees—especially those on the verge of retiring—about this change by following these steps:
"SHRM encourages our members to visit the
Partners section of the
Go Direct website, or to call a campaign representative at (952) 346-6055 for more information," said SHRM Chief Global Membership Officer Janet N. Parker, SPHR, GPHR. "HR professionals should get involved by sharing information about this new federal rule and helping to sign people up for direct deposit or the Direct Express card," she advised.
Living with Earnings Limitsfor Government Benefits,
HR Magazine, June 2010
DirectDeposit Can Help Save Money, the Environment, HR News, September 2009
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