I received an email from Treasury Direct last month informing participants about security upgrades at their site. After you register under the new system you no longer need an access card to log into your account. It went on to say that you will receive an e-mail containing a one-time pass code and the opportunity to register your computer and select a personalized image when you sign on the next time.
I started the new sign on process at 9 am and after a dozen, YES a dozen, attempts to access my Treasury Direct account and 2 hours later I had to call their technical support line at 304-480-7711. I was prompted to leave my name and phone number due to excessive call volume. After several attempts later in the day a customer service representative answered.
The problem is that the new registration instructions are difficult if not impossible to follow. Here are clarifications and guidance that may help you reestablish access to your account and avoid my mistakes.
When you first attempt to logon at www.treasurydirect.gov  you are prompted to enter a one-time pass code that is automatically sent to your registered email address when you visit this page. You must retrieve this email and enter the code on the site. This code is case sensitive and you must enter it exactly as listed using upper and lower case characters. You may also want to check the box next to “Remember This Computer” so next time that you log on from this computer your login will be easier.
When you click on submit you are asked to enter you account number. You don’t have to include the dashes, just the numbers and letters. When you click on submit you will be taken to the “Access Your Account” page and this is where I ran into problems. This page has the virtual keyboard and the password is not case sensitive. I thought I was suppose to enter the temporary pass code and each time I submitted the new pass code I was taken to a questions page where I was asked for replies to the 3 questions I originally set up when I opened the account. If you don’t remember which of the 7 listed questions you originally submitted you are instructed to answer all of the questions. Fortunately, I wrote these questions and answers down when I first registered. After submitting the answers you are taken back to a new temporary pass code page and you end up going around in circles.
The Treasury doesn’t provide a step-by-step process with clarifications for the upgraded security registration. What you need to enter on the virtual keyboard is your original password, not the temporary pass code that was sent to you via email earlier. I tried this so many times that I was locked out and had to request a new password on this page before I could proceed.
If you get into the same loop simply click on “Forget your Password?” on the virtual keyboard page. Then be sure to use your original pass word not the temporary pass code that will be sent when you go back to register again. Another problem is that I had generated so many temporary pass codes that it caused issues so what I suggest is when you first go back to log on you will be taken to the Access Your Account page. Click on the prompt at the bottom of the page that says “Click on the following link if you need to request another pass code. Clicking on the link cancels all previous pass codes.” Then retrieve this new pass code from you email before proceeding.
My article several weeks ago talked about “The Savings Dilemma and Higher Yielding Savings Options ” I wrote about the many problems and issues that I discovered with the Treasury Direct program. I actually called and wrote my Congressman with the hope that he will submit legislation to restore paper savings bonds and provide official account monthly and quarterly statements. It seems that the Treasury is exempt from providing customary and essential account statements that are mandatory at all non-government banking and brokerage services. More to come.
Open Season  ends December 12th. Have you determined how much the cost of Federal Health Benefits will be changing this year? The employee/retirement portion of one health plan is increasing by $446.16 per month for 2012!
If you do not make the change during open season, you may not be able to change health plans until 2013. Don’t let an increased cost in health insurance be an unfortunate surprise that adversely affects your finances. Luckily, it is easy to verify the cost of the FEHB insurance for 2012. For a quick check of the cost changes for FEHB review OPM’s Premium Rates for the Federal Employees .
In addition, in an effort to be more “green,” paper copies of health plan brochures will not be automatically mailed to Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program members this open season. This is the first year of this change.
Retiree Job Lists
We continue to post jobs from employers nationwide that are looking for retired federal employees. Many retirees supplement their retirement income with full or part time work and our Jobs Board continues to grow. Here are several new job listings that you may find interesting:
New job listings this week offer attractive resort positions with great benefits and pay. Visit our Jobs Board  and check out thousands of opening at Vail Resorts in Colorado, Utah and California, Kay Jewelers, Jared, the Galleria of Jewelry and other Jewelers nationwide, and sales and corporate positions with Gamestop.
Request a Retirement Benefits Summary Analysis  from a local adviser. Includes projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections. A sample analysis  is available for your review. This service is not affiliated with www.federalretirement.net
Visit our other informative sites
- Federal Government Jobs & Career Center 
- FREE Federal Employee’s Retirement Planning Guide 
- Federal Retiree Job Opportunities 
- Federal Employee & Retiree BLOG 
- Federal Employee’s Career Development & IDP Center 
- Post Office Jobs & Career Center 
- Job Search – All Sectors 
- Environmental Health & Safety Job Center 
- Nuclear Jobs and Careers 
- Stolen Car Plates & Recovery Guide 
- Educational Opportunities 
- Take Charge of Your Federal Career  (A Career Planning Workbook)
- The Book of U.S. Government Jobs  (How to Apply for Federal Jobs)
Distribute these FREE tools to others that are planning their retirement
- 2012 Excel Leave Chart  (target 2012 retirement dates and determine exact leave balances for each date)
- How to be Emotionally and Physically Prepared When You Retire 
- How to be Financially Prepared When You Retire 
- Master Retiree Contact List  (Important contact numbers and information)
- Survivor’s Guide 
- Estate Planning Guide (An 11 part series that will help readers prepare for retirement, understand basic estate planning techniques, and compile their personal “Survivor’s Guide” binder.)
The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and financial information is subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact your benefits coordinator and ask them to review your official personnel file and circumstances concerning this issue. Retirees can contact the OPM retirement center. Our articles are not intended nor should they be considered investment advice. Our reply is time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change.
Last 5 posts by Dennis Damp
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