Understanding LES Deductions


Understanding LES Deductions - how to read a military pay stubIn conjunction with this Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) piece, I am breaking down the various types of things that you might see on your LES.  I did entitlements a few weeks ago (where does time GO?), and today's post is about deductions. Understanding LES deductions can be really tricky!

Deductions are shown in the middle column of your LES.  Here are the most common deductions that you will see.  I am sure that I miss some, so please let me know.  I have not seen every LES out there!

*Note:  If you are a Marine, or a Marine Corps family member, these things may not be right for your situation.  I have tried to include as much Marine Corps stuff as possible in this piece, but those darn Marines just always have to be different!

AAFES:  If you owe a debt to AAFES, it may be taken directly from your paycheck.

AFRH:  This is a contribution to the Armed Forces Retirement Homes.  This is mandatory.

Debt:  If you owe the government a debt, payments will show up here.

Federal Taxes:  Federal taxes are withheld from each paycheck based upon your instructions given on your W-4 Withholding form.

FICA - Soc Security:  This is paid into the Social Security system.  All employees are taxed at 6.2% of their income for the first $118,500 each year.

FICA - Medicare:  This is paid into the Medicare system.  All employees are taxed 1.45% of their income each year.

Fine:  If you are found guilty of a military charge and ordered to pay a fine, this will be taken directly from your pay.

Garnishment:  If a creditor goes to court and is awarded damages against you, they may have a portion of your income garnished directly from your pay.

GPLD:  This stands for Government Property Lost or Damaged.  The cost of unreturned equipment can be deducted directly from your pay.

Mid-Month Pay:  If you elected to be paid twice a month, then your mid-month pay is basically an advance on your estimated whole month pay.  It is listed as a deduction so that your Leave and Earnings Statement balances at the end of the month.

MGIB:  If you elected to participate in the Montgomery GI Bill program, you will have $100 deducted each month for the first 12 months of service.

Meal Deduction:  Whenever a service member is in a position where they are expected to eat meals in the dining facility (or on the ship), the cost of those meals will be deducted automatically.

Partial Pay:  Partial pay is used for a variety of situations, including early release of funds in a Temporary Lodging Allowance situation, and other circumstances where it is in the government's interest to release pay funds outside of the usual semi-monthly schedule.

Pay Released:  This is used in conjunction with certain deductions that are handled similar to allotments, such as child support or spousal support (see below.)

Prior Supp/Com:  This is part of the ridiculous way that they account for court-ordered child support or spousal support.  It shows up three times in the Deductions column, twice as deductions and once as the opposite of a deduction.

Repay Advance:  This usually represents the repayment of advance pay.

Roth TSP:  If you have directed DFAS to make contributions to a Roth Thrift Savings Plan account, those contributions will show up here.

SGLI:  Servicemember's Group Life Insurance premiums.

SGLI Fam/Spouse:  Servicemember's Group Life Insurance premiums for spouses and children.

Split Pay Option:  This is used by sailors to have a portion of their pay designated to be available on shipboard bank machines.  It is a LES nightmare, as the split pay accounting shows up numerous times in just one LES.

SPO Payment:  This is part of the Split Pay Option accounting.  Basically, this part tracks the two "payments" made by the service member into their imaginary split pay account.

State Tax:  State taxes are withheld from your pay according to the instructions you have provided to the military through your DD Form 2058, State of Legal Residence Certificate, and to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) through your state W-4.

Support/Comm Debt:  This is usually court-ordered child support payments being taken directly from the service member's pay and paid by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).

TSP:  Contributions made to a tradition Thrift Savings Plan account, per your directions, are listed here.

TSGLI:  A separate SGLI payment for the Traumatic Brain Injury portion of SGLI coverage.

USN/MC Ret Home:  I believe this is only listed on Marine Corps LES.  These contributions support the Armed Forces Retirement Homes.  https://www.afrh.gov/

USSH:  All enlisted soldiers and sailors are required to contribute 50 cents each month to the Armed Forces Retirement Homes.  https://www.afrh.gov/

As I said, I am absolutely sure that I have missed some things.  If you're having trouble understanding a LES deduction, let me know and we'll figure it out together!

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