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Question: What is "Save Pay?" It is listed on my Leave & Earning Statement.

Answer: US Code: Title 37, Section 907(a) says; “An enlisted member who accepts an appointment as an officer shall, for services as an officer, be paid the greater of –

(1) the pay and allowances to which he is entitled as an officer; or

(2) the pay and allowances to which he would be entitled if he were in the last enlisted grade he heldbefore his appointment as an officer.”

Paragraph (b) of the same section says; “A warrant officer who accepts an appointment as a commissioned officer in a pay grade above W-4 shall, for service as such a commissioned officer, be paid the greater of –

(1) the pay and allowances to which he is entitled as such a commissioned officer;

(2) the pay and allowances to which he would be entitled if he were in the last warrant officer grade he held before his appointment as such a commissioned officer; or

(3) in the case of an officer who was formerly an enlisted member, the pay and allowances to which he would be entitled if he were in the last enlisted gradehe held before his appointment as an officer.”

The US Code goes on to explain that “in determining the amount of pay and allowances of a grade formerly held by an officer, incentive pay…special pay…seaduty…...…proficiency pay…. may be considered only so long as the officer continues to perform the duty creating the entitlement to or eligibility for that pay and would otherwise be eligible to receive that pay in his former grade”.

Example: MKCM Widget has 20 years of service and accepts appointment to W-2. He departs his ship, puts on the bars and reports to his new shore assignment. To determine if he’s entitled to saved pay: run two columns,one on his new pay and allowances at his new unit, and one on what he would draw at his new unit if he were still an E-9:

Entitlements W-2 over 20 E-9 over 20
Base Pay $3559.00 $3944.10
Officer BAS $166.37  
Enlisted BAS   $262.50
BAH W/DEPNS $764.00 $835.00
Totals: $4,490.17 $5,041.60

The difference between the two totals is $551.43 on the old grade column. Mr. Widgett will receive that amount as “save pay”.

Added Note: In addition to the above, for reasons known only to the Military Finance Gods, Hardship Duty Location Pay (HDP-L) is often listed on the Leave and Earning Statement as "Save Pay."

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