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National Finance Center

U.S. Department of Agriculture

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FAQs

After submitting a retirement package through ServiceNow, will the Agency still need to send a physical copy to the National Finance Center (NFC)/Office of Personnel Management (OPM)?

No.

Will the electronic transmittal of documents be mandatory, or will mail (and/or fax) still be an option?

Agencies are encouraged to begin submitting packages via ServiceNow on June 1. However, NFC will continue to accept packages via mail through June 7, 2020. Beginning June 8, 2020, Agencies will be required to submit packages via ServiceNow.

Will employees still have the option of providing a check or money order to make their military service deposit payments?

Employees will be required to use the military service deposit payment authorization form in lieu of check or money order to purchase military service time.

I heard about new templates regarding military service deposit payments using Pay.gov; when will those be provided?

NFC will pursue templates at a later date. The payment authorization form is the only option available at this time.

Is the payment authorization form intended to be utilized for both lump sum and pay period deductions? Salary offsets?

The form can be used to provide paid-in-full, partial, and offset payroll deductions. The offset to payroll deductions will get applied to the outstanding account receivable balance reducing the amount due.

Can an employee make installment payments at any time via Pay.gov? How do we know when the payment is applied? Do we use the payment authorization form? Where do we go to validate?

Yes, submit a ServiceNow request and include the payment authorization form. Once the Military Deposit and Reconciliation Section (MDRS) processes and closes the request, an update will be sent from ServiceNow. MDRS will attach documentation confirming the processing of the payment.

How does the Agency add yearly accrued interest to an account that is making installments via Pay.gov? This goes back to: how do we know the payment is applied so we can adjust the calculate the interest.

For Agency-maintained deposits, the payments were posted by the check date.You will now use the date that the payment authorization form was submitted in ServiceNow and apply interest accordingly.

I am concerned about the security risk inherent in the payment authorization form. Employees should not be required to write out their credit card numbers or bank account numbers. If employees want to make direct payments rather than payments through payroll deductions, why are you not requiring employees to directly use pay.gov?

The payment authorization form will be automatically encrypted when it is submitted with the military service deposit package in ServiceNow. Employees will need to use the payment authorization form in lieu of check or money order to purchase military service time. NFC will be processing these payments manually in Pay.gov. We are working with Pay.gov to develop a template so that an employee can make a payment directly in Pay.gov, but we cannot provide a production date.

For the payment of the military deposit, is there a fee for using the electronic funds transfer (EFT) debit payment, credit card, and/or debit card option?

There are no fees.

Will the paid-in-full inquiry screen also include the ability to print out the paid-in-full receipt?

MDRS team members will upload the paid-in-full confirmation in ServiceNow after processing the case for review and printing.

Does the Agency still need to update the Retirement Processing System (RETM)?

Yes, all processes after submission via ServiceNow will remain the same during the 60-day transition period, beginning June 1, 2020.

60 days after this new process is implemented, NFC will no longer update Information/Research Inquiry System (IRIS). Will ServiceNow be updated with the date the retirement package and individual retirement record (IRR) was sent to OPM?

NFC will continue to update IRIS and RETM during the 60-day transition period, beginning June 1, 2020. During this time we will review and eliminate duplicate updating efforts. NFC will update completion dates and register number in ServiceNow after completing the case.

On the training presentation, slide #21 is referring to military deposits, but the form references Retiree. Is this likely a typo and should say Employee?

The ServiceNow field in production reads Retiree/Customer.

Is there a maximum amount of ServiceNow users per Agency?

No.

How do you complete the AD-3100-A to ensure we have the correct access to view the additional categories; such as RPS and military service deposits? What security officer type should be checked on the form, zone, division, or dept.?

See tab labeled "Security."

Will we be required to send the medical documentation for preliminary disability via ServiceNow? This could be a lot of information or in a sealed package.

Per the RPS transmittal, sealed medical documentation and discs should be sent directly to OPM before submitting information in ServiceNow. The address is contained in the transmittal.

How will the medical records sent directly to OPM get matched up with the disability retirement package that will be forwarded by NFC? Will a form or letter need to be included with the medical records that provides specific information (Name, date of birth, social security number, etc.)?

OPM requires the name, social security number (SSN), date of birth, and retirement date to accompany all packages mailed directly to them.

We need clarification on when medical documents are sent directly to OPM. Is it only sealed documents and disks or is it all medical documentation?

Only sealed medical documents and disks should be sent directly to OPM. All documents that can be scanned should be submitted via ServiceNow.

Can employees send the medical documents directly to OPM themselves or must it come from the Agency?

OPM asks the Agency to provide the information. See the RPS transmittal.

I am concerned about the size limit for attachments because some disability retirement application packages can be voluminous due to the amount of their supporting medical documentation. How do you plan to accommodate this?

The size limit for packages submitted in ServiceNow is 150MB, which should be large enough for a disability retirement package. A 100-page attachment is usually only 5MB.

Has OPM changed their stance on accepting digital signatures?

Yes, see OPM BAL 12-102, dated May 26, 2020. It states that OPM will accept a scanned copy of an original signature or a scanned copy of a digital signature.

Are you going to allow payments for employees who are under the foreign service retirement plan? Right now in the training you are speaking only for civil service retirement.

Yes.

Are you going to work with the Department of State?

Yes.

Are we using this system for employees who are just retiring?

No, utilizing ServiceNow will replace all retirement and military service cases mailed to NFC.

Can payments be sent if the employee is not ready to retire?

Yes, NFC will accept payments to buy back military service deposits prior to retirement.

Will the email field actually work? I know for the payroll side, I do not receive emails, I have to check ServiceNow for all updates.

Yes

If a paper format has already been sent before a ServiceNow request, can we request an inquiry about prior military deposits in the system?

Yes

For the retirement application, should each form be submitted individually as its own attachment, or should all the forms for one person be combined into one PDF?

All the forms should be combined into one PDF document, with forms ordered according to the RPS transmittal.

If we already have access to ServiceNow do we need to re-do our access request?

If you already have ServiceNow access, you should not have to re-do your access request. We ask that you validate and verify your access in ServiceNow.

I have access to ServiceNow but not to the retirement or military deposit categories. Does this need to be requested on the form?

The retirement and military deposit categories are now in production and available to authorized users.

Should death and disability cases be submitted via ServiceNow also?

Yes, beginning June 1, 2020.

Will any old requests be added to this for tracking, or only requests submitted after 6/1/2020?

Old requests will not be added for tracking purposes. Only requests moving forward after June 1, 2020.

What about death cases and certified copies of death certificates?

A scanned copy of the certificate will be accepted in the PDF package submitted via ServiceNow.

OPM requires an original death certificate when death claims are processed.Has OPM agreed to accept photocopies (even if there is a raised seal that is not visible after it has been scanned)?

Yes, see the OPM BAL 12-102.

Does NFC receive a final time and attendance (T&A) prior to the end of the pay period or not until the pay period is closed?

T&A information is received in IRIS after the pay period processes.

We have been getting many inquiries on how NFC intends to manage the new retirements and military service deposit process. Will you all be creating a page on your Web site? Will you be storing the recorded training sessions for future viewing or do you intend to provide the retirements/military deposits ServiceNow training on a regular basis?

We issued a customer notification that included the training presentation, updated transmittals for retirement and military service deposits, and the payment authorization form. All retirement and military service deposit Web site links are being updated with the new operating procedures.

What verbiage should be written in the description and short description fields?

See the Retirement Transmittal.

Are we shredding the original applications that are in-house after they are scanned or is there a mandatory time to retain?

See the OPM BAL. It must be maintained by the Agency.

Case history...how long will ServiceNow hold our processed/submitted cases?

The current retention period is 7 years.

For an extra level of security, can Agencies password protect personally identifiable information (PII) documents that we transmit? Should Agencies password protect the documents attached to military service deposits or are we 100% confident in the encryption that we do not have to password protect the documents?

No.We have 100% confidence in the secured ServiceNow process for submitting cases.As part of NFC's phased approach to encrypt customer-provided documents, the retirement and military deposit tickets submitted through the ServiceNow application will automatically encrypt any attached documentation.

Is ServiceNow the only tracking mechanism USDA will use since the use of transmittals will be obsolete?

The transmittals are not obsolete. The method to get the information to NFC is now ServiceNow.

Will a transmittal be required for each case submitted via ServiceNow?

Yes, each case submitted via ServiceNow must have a transmittal.

How can we set up ServiceNow tickets so that the entire team has access to them? Can you send the delegation instructions? We were unable to locate them on the ServiceNow knowledge site.

We are in the process of developing the delegation knowledge article and updating delegation to prevent a user from delegating to the wrong person.

Normally our ServiceNow tickets kick back an email with the ticket number to our email when they are generated. Then when the ServiceNow ticket is closed, we receive a notice that the ticket is resolved/closed. Is that going to happen with these specific tickets for military service deposits?

Yes, you should get the same notifications.

Why do I receive a warning message about "password protecting PII" when I attach retirement documents?

As part of NFC's phased approach to encrypt customer-provided documents, the retirements and military deposit tickets submitted through the ServiceNow application will automatically encrypt any attached documentation. For our authorized servicing personnel office and BPO users, an encryption token has been added to your ServiceNow profiles to assist in securing your documentation. The PII warning message is a standard message across the ServiceNow application. All no-retirement or military deposit documents must be encrypted if they contain PII data prior to attaching to a ServiceNow ticket.

Last Updated / Reviewed: October 18, 2020