What to Know About the DoD Savings Deposit Program
The DoD Savings Deposit Program is a great way to save money!
If you are getting ready for a deployment, or already on one, you should know about the SDP or the DoD’s Savings Deposit Program. This program was established to give service members the opportunity to invest their money while on deployment. Here is what you should know about the SDP.
Who qualifies for the SDP?
Service members who are serving in a designated combat zone, those receiving hostile fire or imminent danger pay while serving in a QHDA (Qualified Hazardous Duty Area), or those serving in a designated direct support area of a combat zone all qualify for the SDP.
Service members also need to be serving in these areas for at least 30 consecutive days or at least 1 day for each 3 consecutive months in order to qualify for the program.
When can you start depositing money?
Your initial deposit will be limited to the amount that you have earned beginning with the first day after the first 30 consecutive days. This was changed from an earlier rule where you could start depositing money right away.
How much can you contribute to the SDP?
The maximum amount that you can contribute each month is the combined total of all your military pay, accrued and paid during the 30 days immediately preceding the date of the deposit. You can get an exception by getting written approval from your commanding officer if you were unable to make a deposit because of a mission or limited finance office support.
The total you can contribute to the SDP is between $5 and $10,000. The money has to be from your un-allotted current pay and allowances. You can not use any money from travel allowances, advanced pay, or money you have saved from before you deployed. You also can not go over $10,000.
The interest will compound monthly and is paid quarterly at a rate of 10%. Again, only up to $10,000.
How do you make deposits to your SDP?
You can make deposits via payroll allotment, your Eagle Cash Card, cash, or personal check. Allotments can be set up by visiting your servicing branch of service administrative or finance office. You can also change the amount along the way if need be. The allotment will end if requested or after you have departed the combat zone.
Army, Navy, and Air Force allotments won’t actually stop when you hit that $10,000 maximum. You will need to stop the allotment on your own. With the Marines, the allotment does stop when you hit the $10,000.
If you are going to be paying with the Eagle Cash Card, cash, or personal check, you can do so at any Military Finance Office.
How do you withdraw the money?
The money will be automatically withdrawn for you 120 days after you leave the combat zone. After you return, you will also continue to draw interest for up to 90 days. While you can request to receive the money before the 120 days, you probably want to leave the money there if you can because you would also lose out on that interest.
You can’t withdraw the money before you return from your deployment, however, there are exceptions. Once you reach a $10,000 balance, or you can request an emergency withdrawal. With that, you would need to have approval from your commanding officer. They would need to believe that your health and welfare of you or your dependents would be jeopardized if the withdrawal can’t be granted.
As you can see, the DoD Savings Deposit Program is a good way to save money during a deployment. Taking advantage of this program and making deposits while you are away is good for your finances and you will be glad that you did so.
Please visit the DoD Savings Deposit Program page for more information.
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.