Philadelphia Financial Center

Background

The Philadelphia Financial Center (PFC) is one of four of Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS) Regional Financial Centers. PFC issues electronic funds transfer (EFT) and paper check payments on behalf of federal non-Defense agencies. PFC is responsible for the disbursement of certified public monies on behalf of approximately 160 federal civilian agencies. Some of PFC's customer agencies are the Social Security Administration (SSA), Railroad Retirement Board, Department of Labor, Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Internal Revenue Service.

The work at PFC has evolved from the relatively simple disbursement of handwritten checks into that of a major financial center, issuing payments by EFT and printing paper checks using high-speed check printers.

In Fiscal Year 2010, PFC processed over 510 million payments. Of those payments, over 447 million were EFT payments and 63 million were check payments. These payments include Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, federal salary payments, and IRS tax refund payments.

PFC transfers EFT payments to the Federal Reserve System, with an ultimate destination of individuals' bank accounts. Currently, PFC issues 87% of its payments via EFT.

Once the checks are printed, they are wrapped in the envelopes and presorted to obtain postal discounts. In Fiscal Year 2010, PFC achieved over $6.4 million in postal savings as a result of presorting and bar coding.

Another area of interest at PFC is the Vault Storage Area, where checks are catalogued and held until the actual distribution date. In Fiscal Year 2010, nearly 2 million check and EFT payments were intercepted upon notification of non-entitlement from the Social Security Administration. As a result of this process, approximately $1.4 million in non-entitlement payments do not have to be reclaimed each month. Avoiding reclamations also relieves an administrative burden on agencies and financial institutions.

In addition to the payment function, PFC plays an important role in federal debt collection, assisting with the administration of the Treasury Offset Program, in compliance with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.

PFC also plays a significant role in accounting functions with other agencies, as well as with gathering the information presented in the Monthly Treasury Statements.


   Last Updated:  March 14, 2014