PURPOSE: To provide information affecting military pay entitlements for Soldiers deploying in support of OIF/OEF.
FACTS: Military Pay entitlements change when Soldiers deploy. The following information is provided to help Soldiers arrange their finances in preparation for deployment:
a. Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). Soldiers will deploy in a TCS status. All deploying soldiers will receive BAS / Separate Rations (tax exempt). BAS will continue for Soldiers who are receiving it at the time of deployment and will be started for Soldiers who were on meal cards.
b. Per Diem. All deployed Soldiers who are in a TCS status are entitled to incidental per diem at $3.50 a day (OCONUS), or $105 a month (tax exempt). This will not be received until the Soldier files a travel voucher upon return from theater.
c. Hostile Fire Pay (HFP)/Imminent Danger Pay (IDP). HFP/IDP is payable to all Soldiers in the total land and air space of Iraq. Soldiers receive $225.00 a month (tax exempt) for each month, or part of a month, in which the Soldier is present in the HFP/IDP area. Entitlement starts upon arrival to the authorized location and terminates upon departure.
d. Combat Zone Tax Exclusion (CZTE). Public Law authorizes CZTE for all Soldiers receiving HFP in Iraq. A Soldier who is present, however brief, in this area, including airspace, and is on official duty qualifies for CZTE for that month. All pay for both enlisted personnel and warrant officers is tax exempt for the months spent in the CZTE area. Commissioned officer pay is tax exempt at an amount equal to the Sergeant Major of the Army’s Basic Pay plus HFP.
e. Hardship Duty Pay-Location (HDP-L). Indicated as HDP Location on the Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), is payable to all Soldiers on a monthly basis according to location and living conditions. Currently, HDP-L is payable at a rate of $100 per month for all soldiers deployed to Iraq and Kuwait.
f. Family Separation Allowance (FSA). FSA is paid when a Soldier is involuntarily separated from his/her dependents or active duty spouse for more than 30 days. It is payable at $250.00 per month, or $8.33 per day (tax exempt). Service member married to service member is also entitled to FSA. However, only one Soldier will receive this entitlement. If both Soldiers deploy to the same theater they must be outside a fifty-mile radius or unable to see each other based on mission and security constraints.
g. Selective Re-enlistment Bonus (SRB). The SRB is entirely tax-exempt when a Soldier re-enlists in a CZTE area. Accrued leave sold by enlisted Soldiers while in a CZTE area, whether earned in that area or not, is tax exempt. Leave accrued by any Soldier while serving in the CZTE area, which remains unused at separation, is tax exempt.
h. Savings Deposit Program (SDP). All soldiers deployed at least 30 consecutive days may contribute to this risk free program. Soldiers may make any number of deposits in any amount each month, provided the total deposited in a one month period does not exceed the Soldier’s monthly net pay and allowances. Interest is paid at the rate of 10 percent per annum, compounded quarterly (calendar quarter). Public Law limits interest payments in the SDP at $10,000 regardless of the total amount in the SDP account (includes contributions and interest earned). Interest will accrue up to 90 days after the Soldier redeploys.
i. Special-Leave Accrual (SLA). SLA accrues when Soldier serves in an area in which he or she was entitled to Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay for at least 120 continuous days. Special Leave Accrual authorizes Soldiers to carry up to 90 days of leave at the end of a Fiscal Year. Accrued Special Leave must be used before the end of the third fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the qualifying service ended.
j. Leave and Earnings Statements (LESs). LESs and Mid-month Net Pay Advice forms will be sent to the Soldiers at their deployed location. In addition, Soldiers with access to the Internet will be able to access their LESs through “myPay” online at mypay.dfas.mil. With a special finance power of attorney, Soldiers can grant their spouse access to their LES. Spouses can also be given restricted access PIN numbers to a Soldiers myPay account.
k. Power of Attorney (POA). With a special power of attorney, the Soldier can grant their spouse the right to establish, change, or stop an allotment. The special power of attorney must specifically state the authority to establish, change, or stop allotments. In addition, a special power of attorney can be used to establish, change, or stop transactions involving the Thrift Savings Plan and the Savings Deposit Program.
l. Dependent Support. Soldiers must ensure their families have access to adequate financial support in their absence. This may include access to checking and/or savings accounts or establishment of allotments. Checking accounts are generally preferred in order to maximize access to funds by both the Soldier and their dependent(s).