WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 30, 2015) – The temporary authority allowing Soldiers to carry over 75 days of leave from one fiscal year into the next will expire, Sept. 30.
Most Soldiers will only be allowed to carry 60 days of leave into the next fiscal year.
Soldiers will lose it, if they don’t use it by Oct. 1, Army personnel officials said of leave in excess of 60 days, unless special leave accrual, or SLA applies.
SLA allows Soldiers who have served in a mission where they were eligible for hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay for a continuous period of at least 120 days to accrue leave. Under SLA, Soldiers can accumulate a maximum of 120 days of leave (60 days of ordinary leave, plus 60 days of SLA).
Soldiers who meet the SLA provisions can still carry forward up to 120 days leave, if their leave and earnings statement, also known as LES, has 60 days of leave coded as SLA and the LES remarks block shows “Combat Zone Leave Carryover Balance” with its expiration date.
“Each Soldier has an individual responsibility to monitor and manage their leave,” officials said in an all Army activities, or ALARACT, message, dated March 1.
The 75-day carry-over authority began with the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, authorizing a two-year temporary authority. Since then, Congress has extended the authority twice, adding four consecutive years. The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act is not expected to extend the authority, officials said.
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, or DFAS, is in the process of emailing a notice to all Soldiers projected to have more than 60 days accrued leave on Sept. 30, officials said. DFAS will continue to include monthly notices on Soldiers’ LES that state: “Important: Manage your leave. On Oct. 1, 2015, you will lose all accrued leave over 60 days, unless SLA applies.”
Currently, DFAS software hasn’t been updated to use 60 days in the use/lose computation; therefore all LESs will understate the use/lose balance by 15 days. DFAS is making the necessary system changes to correct that error, officials said, and they estimate the fix will be completed by June.
The recent ALARACT echoes DoD guidance that commanders should continue to monitor the leave of their Service members, and encourage them to use any accrued leave days that exceed the 60-day carry-over limit.