THE SAVINGS DEPOSIT PROGRAM HELPS TROOPS EARN MORE MONEY
By Buddy Blouin
Navigating your finances can be difficult when you’re a professional working in finances, let alone a troop in the heat of battle. Is the Savings Deposit Program worth it? Absolutely! You can save money you’ve rightfully earned while also growing your funds through impressive returns from your interest. Having an account with the Savings Deposit Program might feel a bit foreign at first, and there are some important pieces of information you’ll want to know to get the most out of your savings. Explore your options for a better financial future while serving in the military.
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Understanding the Military Savings Deposit ProgramDoD Savings Deposit Programs (SDPs) were created in order to give uniformed service members a chance to invest in their financial savings while in a combat zone or while receiving hostile fire/imminent danger pay while serving in a Qualified Hazardous Duty Area or a Combat Zone Direct Support Area. The goal here is to provide troops who are away fighting to keep America safe with a bit of assistance in terms of their financial health and future. Your Savings Deposit Program is an important financial tool to maintain a responsible level of financial security. Contributions can be made to your Savings Deposit Program once you’ve served in an area covered by the program for a minimum of 30 consecutive days or at least 1 day for 3 consecutive months. Your first deposit will be limited to the amount you’ve earned in imminent danger pay starting with the first day after the 30 consecutive days in a covered SDP area. This is an important thing to note, as troops used to be able to make deposits as soon as they were eligible. This change comes after an update to the DoDFMR vol 7a Chapter 51.
Can I Withdraw Money From Savings Deposit Program?You can withdraw money from your SDP account; however, there are some considerations and regulations to keep in mind:
- Payment for your SDP account, including all interest, will be made 120 days after the service member leaves the combat zone. Deposits continue to earn interest for up to 90 days.
- If the money is withdrawn before the 120 days after a return from deployment on myPay, some interest may be forfeited.
- You cannot withdraw your funds until returning from deployment unless your balance has reached $10,000, after which you can withdraw quarterly anything in excess of the $10,000 on myPay.
- Additionally, an “Emergency Withdrawal” can be authorized by your Commanding Officer should they decide that "…the health and welfare of the member or their dependent(s) would be jeopardized if the withdrawal was not granted."
- Emergency Withdrawal will need to be completed by submitting an askDFAS ticket with a copy of your Commanding Officer’s authorization letter uploaded.
How Much Can I Contribute to the Savings Deposit Program?To deposit unallocated current pay and allowances to your Deployment Savings Deposit Program account, you can contribute a minimum of $5.00 up to a maximum of $10,000. SDP will reject deposits outside of these ranges. Up to $10,000 in SDP balances earn 10% interest compounded monthly and paid quarterly. Interest will not be accrued on balances over $10,000.
How To Set up Savings Deposit ProgramSetting up your SDP is simple. Contact your local finance office to get started. Otherwise, you can contact or visit the Defense Finance and Accounting Service office that fits your branch. For an Air Force Savings Deposit Program, Army Savings Deposit Program, or an SDP for the Marine Corps or Navy, you’ll need to contact the following:
DFAS-Indianapolis Center8899 East 56th Street Indianapolis, IN 46249-0875
Phone: 1 (800) 729-3277 (option #4) For those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, here’s your contact:
Coast Guard Pay and Personnel Center444 Southeast Quincy Street Topeka, KS 66683-3591
Phone: 1 (785) 339-2200. Personnel serving through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) can contact the following location:
NOAA Commissioned Personnel Center1315 East-West Highway, Rm. 12100 Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282. And finally, for anyone involved with the Public Health Service, you can reach their office to help set up your SDP:
U.S. Public Health Service
Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness
Commissioned Corps Compensation1101 Wootton Parkway, Plaza Level, Suite 100 Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: 1 (240) 276-8799. The Savings Deposit Program continues to provide you with a way to make your hard-earned money work hard for you. Service in hostile environments shouldn’t have added the stress of worrying about your financial situation back home. Take advantage of the SDP and earn more today!
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