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Retiree Activities Office - A Message from the Director

  • Published
  • By Retired Col. Billy Graham
  • Retiree Activities Office

A warm thank-you to retirees and families who attended our Retiree Appreciation Day! The event was a great success. It was a memorable experience to pay tribute at the Traveling Viet Nam Memorial Wall. It was also a delight to watch the service dogs in action. The health fair was truly impressive with the 6th Medical Group Clinic demonstrating a first class operation that day. The RAO wishes to express sincere thanks to all volunteers, civilian staff and active duty personnel who contributed their time and efforts. A special thank-you to the MacDill Exchange for your outstanding support.

Most of you might have already learned that we will get a 3.6 percent Cost of Living Allowance. This increase in COLA will be in effect for all your government payments (SBP, Social Security, Retired Pay and VA Payments) beginning Jan. 1, 2012. Your Medicare Part B payment will also increase. The increase in retiree TRICARE fees for next year took effect Oct. 1. The fees went up by $30 for individuals and $60 for family. This is not as much as was originally expected. (Retirees already in the program will not see any increase until next year because they have already paid for this year.) According to TRICARE, active-duty service members and their families pay no annual fees for TRICARE enrollment, and the increase will not apply to survivors of deceased active-duty sponsors and medically retired service members and eligible family members.

In the future, your SSN will not appear on your ID cards. This is not mandated now, but when you change your ID card the SSN will be gone. To change your ID card, you may stop by Building 373 at MacDill AFB. However, the MacDill Pass and ID office highly recommends on-line appointments. Retirees and family members may use the Web site for making on-line appointments.

Remember that retirees who divorce need to update their marital status within 30 days of the effective date. And please, if you remarry, remember you have one year to put your new family member into the system.

Have you been looking for the Military Uniform Sales store? It's now in a temporary location at the back of the Class VI store. You will need to enter the Class VI store, then walk through the store toward the back. Since the Exchange complex is undergoing upgrade, there will be changes in the future regarding the locations of the furniture store, Class VI store, and military uniform sales store.

Soon it will be tax season! We will need counselors for not only the RAO, but for the tax program. If you want to help, contact us at 813-828-4555 or just drop by our office. We will offer tax training for two weeks in January and will offer income tax service starting Feb. 6, 2012. If there is a schedule change, we will notify you.