July 2017 Leave and Earnings Statements (LES) are now available, and yours may contain a mistake: the listing of a Savings Deposit Program (SDP) balance when you don't have one.
The SDP is a high-yield savings account available to service members deployed for 30 days or more to an area eligible to receive Hostile Fire Pay. Currently paying 10% interest, the service member may save up to $10,000 in this special government-run account. It's an amazing way to earn a ton of interest while deployed. Account balances are listed on the service member's LES each month.
But this month, the LES might be wrong. It could say you have money in an SDP account when you do not.
Last Thursday, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) sent out the following email:
A service member graciously shared their LES with the incorrect SDP information listed. I've cut and pasted the entire notes section. On this person's LES, and I think most LES, the SDP balance is listed about half-way down the right hand column.
This isn't really a big deal, but it is good to know. Definitely don't be making plans to spend that money, because you don't really have it!
This is a great time to remind folks that you should check your LES each month. The military pay system is complicated, and errors happen all the time. The easiest way to fix errors is when they are new. Checking your LES is the only way to know if your pay is right. It's really frustrating when you figure out that something is wrong months later, and it is harder-than-necessary to get it fixed.
Do you have an upcoming deployment? Start planning now to figure out how to maximize the amount you can save in your SDP account, and earn as much interest as possible!