If a combat deployment is in your future, be sure to learn about the Savings Deposit Program, a savings account that earns you 10 percent interest. An effective way to collect some savings, the Savings Deposit Program can help you and your family achieve your financial goals.
Am I eligible?
You’re eligible to use the Savings Deposit Program, or SDP, if:
- You’re active duty or an activated Guard or reserve member. In both cases, you must be deployed receiving Hostile Fire Pay/Imminent Danger Pay.
- You deploy to an area in support of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. You’re also eligible if you deploy to other contingency operations where you receive HFP/IDP.
- You serve in the combat zone or in direct support of a designated combat zone. And you must serve for more than 30 consecutive days.
- You serve in the combat zone for at least one day for three consecutive months. This situation is likely if you’re in a special operations unit.
- You’re serving in OEF/OIF in the Arabian Peninsula area. This includes the Persian Gulf (the Arabian Peninsula, the Strait of Hormuz, or the Gulf of Oman), Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
Your eligibility for the program stops the day you leave the designated combat area and redeploy home.
Why use the Savings Deposit Program?
The SDP earns you 10 percent interest on every dollar saved during a combat deployment (most commercial savings accounts earn no more than one or two percent). The program helps you reach your short- and long-term financial goals more quickly because you can:
- Choose how much to deposit. Deposit all or part of your unallotted pay (the pay you receive after authorized deductions), up to $10,000 per deployment.
- Earn after you return home. Continue to earn 10 percent interest for 90 days after you redeploy home, unless you request to withdraw funds before then.
- Build your savings while serving. Coming home to extra savings in your account may help you pay down debt or contribute toward a financial goal, and help reduce some of the stress that financial issues can cause.
- Manage your account easily. Monitor and manage your account through MyPay. If you set up automatic allotments, check your leave and earnings statements regularly.
- Stop depositing money at any time. There’s no penalty for stopping deposits into your SDP.
How do I make deposits?
Setting up regular deposits from your pay is easy. Here are some tips and program restrictions:
- Setting set up allotments. Contact your finance office to start or stop allotments into the SDP, or make deposits with cash, a personal check or a traveler’s check. Your spouse or a trusted family member can also start and stop allotments on your behalf with a special or specific power of attorney.
- Power of attorney requirements. Visit your legal assistance office for advice on the power of attorney requirements and help preparing a special or specific power of attorney. Find your legal assistance office with the U.S. Armed Forces Legal Assistance locator.
- When to begin deposits. You can start depositing into your account 31 days into your deployment. This is the only time you can start deposits, but you can stop making deposits at any time.
- How much to deposit. Deposits can’t be more than your monthly current pay and allowances after allotments. You can’t go over your monthly pay after all deductions and allotments, including special pays and reenlistment bonus. Deposits must be made in amounts divisible by five, like $50, $115, and so on. You can make more than one deposit in a month.
How do I make withdrawals?
Ordinarily, funds from your SDP account must be withdrawn in one payment after you redeploy home — you may not withdraw funds while deployed except in emergency cases. But there are exceptions to this rule. The general rules for withdrawals are:
- Request the funds after you return home. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service will post your account money to your leave and earnings statement. Interest will be added from the date of your deposit, regardless of the date of your withdrawal. The service will pay out any interest owed.
- Request emergency funds during the deployment. Emergency withdrawals must be only for the health and welfare of the service member or immediate family and require approval from your unit commander or commanding officer. Submit the approval to DFAS.
- Make withdrawals if the maximum balance is reached. If your account contains more than $10,000, you or your spouse can make quarterly withdrawals for the amount over $10,000.
- Follow withdrawal procedures. Active duty members will receive their payment electronically to the same account that receives usual monthly pay. Reservists and separated members submitting withdrawal requests to DFAS must include the bank account number where the funds should be deposited, the type of account (checking or savings), the bank’s routing transit number, and a voided check or a deposit slip. If a check is preferred, a current address must be provided.
You work hard for your money — now make it work hard for you. Take advantage of this unique savings program exclusive to the military, and watch your money grow. For more information, visit the DoD Savings Deposit Program.
This article was written by www.militaryonesource.mil not HelpVet. View original article here.