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Military Pay Allotments
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An "allotment" is when the military automatically takes money out of your military paycheck and sends it to someone else. There are two types of military pay allotments: discretionary and non-discretionary. A discretionary allotment is a voluntary allotment, i.e. done with the consent of the member. A non-discretionary allotment is usually a mandatory allotment, however, there are some voluntary allotments that fall into this category, such as charitable contributions or savings bonds.

Discretionary Allotments. Military service members may start and stop discretionary allotments simply by visiting their local military finance organization. Military Service members are authorized no more than six purely discretionary allotments. Service members are authorized no more than one discretionary allotment to the same allottee. Allotments made to "non-individuals" must be electronic transfer/direct deposit. Allotments made to individuals can be via direct deposit or a mailed paper check.

Types of Discretionary Allotments:

Allotments to Dependents or Relatives. Officers and enlisted members of the Military Services may authorize allotments of pay to their dependents, relatives, or divorced spouse. These allotments may be authorized by the member or administratively initiated under procedures established by the Military Service concerned. It may be made payable to an individual or to a financial organization for credit to the account of the allottee, or a joint account of the allotter and allottee. The member may request to stop a dependent allotment administratively started.

Locally Paid Dependent, Class X Allotments (Army & Air Force Only). This allotment is locally paid and is authorized only in emergency circumstances which prevent the member from supporting the member's dependent(s) by the usual means. It may be paid directly to the member’s dependent or made payable to a financial organization for credit to an account. This allotment is intended to be flexible enough to cope with the various types of emergencies that may arise. The following are examples where an Army or Air Force member may authorize a class X allotment:

  • An Army member stationed overseas (including Alaska and Hawaii) with dependents residing in the same overseas area but in a different foreign country may authorize a class X allotment (Type I) for an indefinite period.
  • An Army member, stationed anywhere, who is required to depart the permanent station in a timeframe which precludes normal arrangements for support of dependents may authorize a class X allotment (Type II) for a definite period not to exceed 6 months. If the member has not returned to the permanent station by the date the allotment is due to expire, the commander may extend the allotment for another 6 months.
  • An Air Force member stationed overseas (including Alaska and Hawaii) with dependents residing in the same overseas area may authorize a class X allotment for an indefinite period during periods the member is away from the permanent station.
  • An Air Force member, stationed anywhere, may authorize a class X allotment for a one-time emergency payment.
  • An Air Force member, stationed anywhere, who is TDY for more than 30 days may authorize a class X allotment for a period not to exceed 6 months. If the member has not returned to the permanent station by the date the allotment is due to expire, the accounting and finance officer or the appointed agent establishes a class D allotment to replace the class X allotment.

Allotment for Deduction of Rent. An allotment or deduction of pay may be authorized by the appropriate Secretary of the Military Department concerned for the payment of rent of premises occupied for dwelling purposes by the spouse, children, or other dependents of a member. Such allotment or deduction will be processed in accordance with the procedural instructions of the Military Service concerned.

Insurance Allotments. Allotments are authorized to be made by all Military Service members for paying insurance premiums (including SGLI/NSLI). A member may have only one NSLI allotment. If the member has more than one policy in effect under one class of insurance, or a combination of U.S. Government Life Insurance and National Service Life Insurance, the premium payments are combined into one allotment. All payments to an insurer are made to the home office of the agency issuing the policy or to a branch office named by the home office. A member may have more than one allotment for commercial insurance. However, if the member has more than one insurance policy with the same company, premium payments must be combined into one allotment to that company.

Allotments to Financial Organizations and Investment Firms. Officers and enlisted members may authorize allotments of pay to financial organizations for credit to the account of the member. Allotments may be deposited to:

  • A financial organization for credit to a savings, checking, or trust account of the allotter without restricting the use of the funds allotted.
  • A mutual fund company or investment firm.

Allotments for the Savings Deposit Program. Active duty officers and enlisted members may authorize an allotment into the Savings Deposit Program. Such allotment shall be processed in accordance with the procedural instructions of the Military Service concerned.

Other Allotments:

  • Officers and enlisted members may authorize an allotment for payment of car or personal loans.
  • Air Force members may authorize an allotment to the Air Force Enlisted Members Widow’s Home.

Non-Discretionary Allotments. There is no limit to the number of non-discretionary allotments a member may have.

Savings Bonds. Members may purchase United States savings bonds by class B allotment. Bond purchases in 1 calendar year may not exceed $15,000 (purchase price).

  • Series EE. Purchase price is one-half of the maturity value. The Series EE bonds available through payroll deductions are $100, $200, $500, or $1,000.
  • Series I. These are par valued securities which means the maturity value is the same as the purchase price. The purchase prices available through payroll deduction are $50, $75, $100, $200, $500, and $1,000. A $5,000 and $10,000 bond is also available to purchase; however, not through payroll deduction.

Generally, savings bonds may only be sent to an address within the United States, its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Members on active duty who prefer not to have their bonds mailed upon issue may have them held in safekeeping in accordance with the procedural instructions of the Military Service concerned.

Combined Federal Campaign. Annual solicitations for donations to various community charity drives have been coordinated into a single combined fund-raising campaign. The name of this campaign is the Combined Federal Campaign (domestic areas) or the DoD Overseas Combined Federal Campaign (overseas areas).

Service Relief Organizations. Members are authorized to make charitable contributions by allotment to the Army Emergency Relief, Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, or affiliates of the Air Force Assistance Fund.

Allotments for Child or Spousal Support. (Note: This is not the same as a court-ordered garnishment for spousal or child support. Garnishments are done under separate procedures and are not "allotments.") Upon proper notification from an authorized person, the cognizant DFAS Center will start a statutorily-required child or child and spousal support allotment from the pay and allowances of a member on extended active duty when the member has failed to make periodic payments, under a support order, in an amount equal to the support payable for 2 months or longer.

Authorized Person. Any agent or attorney of any state having in effect a plan approved under Title 42, United States Code, section 665 (reference (ca)). This agent or attorney has the duty or authority to seek recovery of any amounts owed as child or child and spousal support and the court has the authority to issue an order against a member for the support and maintenance of a child, or any agent of such court.

Child Support. Periodic payments for the support and maintenance of a child or children, subject to and in accordance with state or local law. This includes, but is not limited to, payments to provide for health care, education, recreation, and clothing, or to meet other specific needs of the child or children.

Notice. A court order, letter, or similar documentation issued by an authorized person providing notification that a member has failed to make periodic support payments under a support order.

Spousal Support. Periodic payments for the support and maintenance of a spouse or former spouse, in accordance with state or local law. It includes, but is not limited to, separate maintenance, alimony while litigation continues, and maintenance. Spousal support does not include any payment for transfer of property or its value by an individual to his or her spouse or former spouse in compliance with any community property settlement, equitable distribution of property, or other division of property between spouses or former spouses.

Support Order. Any order providing for child or child and spousal support issued by a court of competent jurisdiction within any state, territory, or possession of the United States, including Indian tribal courts, or in accordance with administrative procedures established under state law that affords substantial due process and is subject to judicial review.

Notice to Designated Official. An authorized person shall send to the appropriate designated official a signed notice that includes:

  • A statement that delinquent support payments equal or exceed the amount of support payable for 2 months under a support order, and a request that an allotment be established.
  • A certified copy of the support order.
  • The amount of the monthly support payment. Such amount may include arrearages, if a support order specifies the payment of such arrearages. The notice shall indicate how much of the amount payable shall be applied toward liquidation of the arrearages.
  • A statement that delinquent support payments are more than 12 weeks in arrears, if appropriate.
  • The following information that identifies the member: a. Full name. b. Social security number. c. Military Service of the member.
  • The full name and address of the allottee. The allottee shall be an authorized person, or designee, or the recipient named in the support order.
  • Any limitations on the duration of the support allotment.
  • A certification that the official sending the notice is an authorized

When the notice does not sufficiently identify the member, it shall be returned directly to the authorized person with an explanation of the deficiency. Before the notice is returned, if there is sufficient time, an attempt shall be made to inform the authorized person who sent the notice that it will not be honored unless adequate information is supplied.

Upon receipt of effective notice of delinquent support payments, together with all required supplementary documents and information, the designated official shall identify the member from whom moneys are due and payable. The allotment shall be established in the amount necessary to comply with the support order and to liquidate arrearages if provided by a support order, when the maximum amount to be allotted under this provision, together with any other moneys withheld for support from the member, does not exceed:

Fifty percent of the member’s disposable earnings for any month in which the member asserts by affidavit or other acceptable evidence that he or she is supporting a spouse, dependent child, or both, other than a party in the support order. When the member submits evidence, copies shall be sent to the authorized person, together with notification that the member’s support claim shall be honored. If the support claim is contested by the authorized person, that authorized person may refer this matter to the appropriate court or other authority for resolution.

Sixty percent of the member's disposable earnings for any month in which the member fails to assert by affidavit or other acceptable evidence that he or she is supporting a spouse, dependent child, or both.

Regardless of the limitations above, an additional 5 percent of the member's disposable earnings shall be withheld when the notice states that the total amount of the member's support payments is 12 or more weeks in arrears.

Include the following items in computing the disposable earnings for members assigned within the continental United States: 1. Basic pay (including Military Service academy cadet and midshipmen pay). 2. Basic allowance for housing (BAH) for members with dependents and members without dependents in the grade of E-7 or higher. 3. Basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) for commissioned and warrant officers. 4. Career sea pay. 5. Diving pay. 6. Flying pay (all crew members). 7. Proficiency pay and special duty assignment pay. 8. Special pay for medical, dental, optometry, and veterinary officers. 9. Submarine pay.

Include the following additional items in computing the disposable earnings for members assigned outside the continental United States: 1. Family separation allowance, Type II (FSA-R only). 2. Foreign duty pay. 3. Special pay for duty subject to hostile fire and imminent danger (applies only to members permanently assigned in a designated area). 4. Special pay for overseas extensions. 5. Overseas housing allowance. 6. Cost-of-living allowance.

After including the items above, subtract the following items to compute the final disposable earnings value: 1. Amounts the member owes the United States. 2. Deductions for the Armed Forces Retirement Home. 3. Fines and forfeitures. 4. Federal and state employment and income taxes to the extent that the amount deducted is consistent with the member’s tax liability. 5. Deductions for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. 6. Advances of pay the member received before the date the designated official received notice of the support allotment. (In computing future advance pay entitlement, deduct the amount of the allotment required by law.) 7. Amount of salary offset for travel charge card debt. 8. Other amounts required by law to be deducted (e.g., dental plan premium).

Notice to Member and Member's Commanding Officer. Within 15 calendar days after the date of receipt of notice, the designated official shall send to the member, at his or her duty station, written notice:

  • That notice has been received from an authorized person, including a copy of the documents submitted.
  • Of the maximum percentages which can be withheld under subparagraph 430403.E, above, and a request that the member submit supporting affidavits or other documentation necessary for determining the applicable percentage.
  • That the member may submit supporting affidavits or other documentation as evidence that the information contained in the notice is in error.
  • That by submitting supporting affidavits or other necessary documentation, the member consents to the disclosure of such information to the party requesting the support allotment.
  • Of the amount or percentage that will be deducted if the member fails to submit the documentation necessary to enable the designated official to respond to the notice within the prescribed time limits.
  • That a consultation with a judge advocate or legal officer will be provided by the Military Department concerned, if possible, and that the member should immediately contact the nearest legal services office.
  • Of the date that the allotment is scheduled to begin.

If, within 30 days of the date of notice, the member has furnished the designated official with affidavits or other documentation showing the information in the notice to be in error, the designated official shall consider the member’s response. The designated official may return to the authorized person, without action, the notice for a support allotment required by law, together with the member’s affidavit and other documentation, if the member submits substantial proof of error, such as:

The support payments are not delinquent.

The underlying support order in the notice has been amended, superseded, or set aside.

Payment of statutorily-required allotments shall be enforced over other voluntary deductions and allotments when the gross amount of pay and allowances is not sufficient to permit all authorized deductions and collections. Allow the member to choose which discretionary allotments to cancel.

Allotment for Commercial Debts. Monies due from, or payable by, the United States to active duty members are subject to the involuntary allotment. The application for direct payment of an involuntary allotment to satisfy a judgment for commercial indebtedness from the pay of a member subject to involuntary allotment must be accompanied by a certified copy of a final judgment issued by a court of competent jurisdiction within any state, territory, or possession of the United States.

Final Judgment. A valid, enforceable order or decree, by a court from which no appeal may be taken, or from which no appeal has been taken within the time allowed, or from which an appeal has been taken and finally decided.

If the member’s pay is subject to a garnishment or statutory allotment for spousal or child support, in addition to the involuntary allotment application, the combined amounts deducted from the member's pay shall not exceed the lesser of 25 percent of a member’s pay subject to involuntary allotment or the maximum percentage of pay subject to garnishment proceedings under the applicable state law. If the maximum percentage allowed for involuntary allotments would be exceeded by both deductions, garnishments and statutory allotments for spousal and child support take priority over the involuntary allotment.

Payment of statutorily-required involuntary allotments shall be enforced over other voluntary deductions and allotments when the gross amount of pay and allowances is not sufficient to permit all authorized deductions and collections. The member will be allowed to choose which discretionary allotments to cancel.

Delinquent Travel Card Debt. Under the provisions of the “Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998” (“TTRA”) (5 U.S.C. section 5701 note) heads of agencies may, upon written request of a federal contractor, collect by deduction from the amount of pay owed to an employee of the agency any undisputed amount of funds the employee owes to the travel charge card contractor that are delinquent. The Act states:

“The term ‘employee’ means an individual employed in or under an agency, including a member of any of the uniformed services. For purposes of this subsection, a member of one of the uniformed services is an employee of that uniformed service.”

The due process procedures applicable to military members are exactly the same as for civilian employees of the Department. Therefore, salary offset for a military member’s undisputed delinquent travel charge card debt shall follow the procedures contained in Volume 8, “Civilian Pay Policy and Procedures,” Chapter 8, “Underpayments and Indebtedness,” subparagraph 080602, “Salary Offset Requests From the Travel Charge Card Contractor,” for civilian employees. Use of the term “salary offset” in Volume 8 is to be read with the same meaning as the term “non-discretionary allotment” that is used in this chapter. Pay and allotment procedures are as provided in this chapter. Disposable pay shall be calculated as stated above in the section for Spousal and Child Support.

Above Information from the Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation, Volume 7A, Chapter 42 and 43

 

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