Military pay technician examines a financial document.

Your Leave and Earnings Statement

Your monthly Leave and Earnings Statement is one of the most important financial documents you have for mastering your money and achieving your financial goals. Use the LES to budget your monthly expenses and plan for a purchase. Here’s how to decipher the code.

First, what is the Leave and Earnings Statement exactly?

It’s your monthly report of earnings, deductions and leave balance. Your statement covers:

Pay Raise for 2020

Military personnel are receiving a 3.1% increase in their basic pay in 2020. This raise is for both active-duty and reserve service members.

Where can I access my statement?

What should I look at on a regular basis?

Stay on top of your information – especially income and deductions. Mistakes can happen. Review these items every month and make sure they’re correct:

The Entitlements section shows your base pay, special or incentive pay and allowances like Basic Allowance for Housing or Basic Allowance for Subsistence.

The Deductions section shows things that are deducted from your pay, including Medicare and Social Security taxes, state and federal taxes, and Thrift Savings Plan contributions.

The Allotments section lists your allotments. Be sure you know what they are, who is receiving them, and if/when will they be paid in full.

The amount of money you receive is shown in two places. Your mid-month pay is listed as a deduction, and your end-of-month pay is listed. Is the amount accurate for your situation?

Are your TSP contributions and life insurance premiums being properly deducted?

How much leave do you have available? Do you have leave that you need to use before the end of the fiscal year? Any impending changes to your pay or notices from your command?

Anything else I should note?

  • Stay current on your pay. Understand when special pay – like deployment pay, hazardous duty pay and other special duty pay – is supposed to begin and when it should end.
  • Mistakes happen. Regardless of who made the error, a “no pay due” could be the result. Watch for overpayments, too.
  • Find an error? Contact your command administration or finance personnel.

Save even a little money every month. Visit MilitarySaves.org. You can find a sample LES at http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers.html.

Contact a Military OneSource financial counselor if you want to set up plan to save money or make your pay go further. Call 800-342-9647 or connect via Live Chat 24/7/365. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.

 

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