The government is discontinuing the practice of issuing paper benefits checks. Those newly enrolling in benefits programs including federal retirement and Social Security effective March 1, 2011 or after receive their benefits either through direct deposit or through the Treasury Department’s Direct Express debit card. Those on the benefits rolls as of that date will be moved into one of those systems no later than March 1, 2013.

With direct deposit of annuities, your payment is credited to your bank account on the day it is due.

You can request direct deposit for the first time or change the bank where your payment is sent by writing to OPM, P.O. Box 440, Boyers, PA 16017-0440, by calling (888) 767-6738 (TDD (800) 878-5707), and through https://www.servicesonline.opm.gov. You need to tell OPM if your account is a savings or a checking account, your account number, the financial institution routing number for your bank (should be next to your account number on the bottom of your check) and the name and address of your bank or financial institution. You will also need your claim number and Social Security number. When you sign up for direct deposit, OPM will send you a confirmation of the change in your payment address.