While it is important to review your military Leave and Earnings Statement every month, it is extra important whenever you have any changes. This includes things like a Permanent Change of Station move, a promotion, a time-in-service or regular annual raise, or any other action that could impact your pay and allowances.
While these events can occur any time of the year, January is a big one for everyone in the military. An annual pay raise and increase in Basic Allowance for Subsistence take effect in January, plus BAH and other allowances may change. Plus, this year, most military members will be done paying back the deferred payroll taxes that were collected during 2021. In other words, there’s a lot going on!
If you don’t know how to get your LES, here are the directions: MyPay New User Guidance.
So, here are the main things you want to look for in reviewing this specific LES:
Increase In Base Pay and BAS
All military service members received a 2.7% increase in their base pay for 2022. Basic Allowance for Subsistence rates have increased for all service members, too.
Basic Allowance for Housing
Many locations and ranks will receive more for BAH in 2022. Don’t worry if your location’s BAH rate went down – you are probably covered under the BAH rate protection rules. If so, your rate won’t go down, even if the area’s rate does.
End of the Repayment of Deferred Social Security Taxes
Those Social Security taxes that weren’t withheld in September through December of 2020 were repaid across 2021. If you remained in an active status for the whole year, you should have paid the last chunk from your December pay.
This “debt” (which is wasn’t, IMO) showed up on the LES as “MISCELANEOUS DEBT” in the deductions column. (Yes, it is spelled wrong.) Then, in the notes section of your LES, it showed the amount still remaining. If you look at your December LES, you should be paid up.
Marine Corps: The Marine Corps, of course, has to be special. (Did you know I was raised by a Marine? I have a little soft spot for the scarlet and gold.) Here’s what it looks like on their statement:
Thank you to the reader who shared this with me!
The Usual Stuff on Your Leave and Earnings Statement
Don’t forget to also check the usual things that you should be checking your LES every month:
- base pay, BAS, BAH, any special pays you should be getting
- SGLI and FSGLI are being deducted if you think you have that coverage
- TSP contributions are being withheld, and going into the right account (traditional or Roth)
- there aren’t any deductions or allotments that you don’t recognize
- your leave balances look right
- read the remarks section – anything wonky should be noted there
It’s always important to check your military Leave and Earnings Statement each month, but this month is extra special. Today, take five minutes and make sure that everything looks right. It could potentially save you a lot of trouble in the future!
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