For deployed military personnel who would like to save money during their service, there is the Savings Deposit Program. This is a special savings program available only to military men and women who are fulfilling their duties in a combat zone or another dangerous area as designated by the Department of Defense.
With the Savings Deposit Program, servicepersons can place their money in a DOD savings account. They can save up to $10,000 and receive an interest rate of 10 percent. The interest earned is taxable income, despite the fact that the deposit itself is not. In terms of withdrawal, military men and women can take out $5 at a time.
The brilliant program began during the Vietnam War. It allowed troops to earn money during their deployments in Asia. The Savings Deposit Program became available again to those serving in Desert Storm and eventually Bosnia. Now, the program is available to most of the troops serving overseas, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or other areas deemed to be hostile.
Deposits in the savings program can begin on their 31st day of service in the area in which they are serving. They can be in the form of cash, check or money order. The amount of the deposit must be made in multiples of five, similar to how much can be withdrawn. For example, $5, $10 or $1,000 would be able to be deposited. However, $5.50 would not be deposited because such an amount is not a multiple of five. Additionally, the deposit must not exceed what the military person is earning each month. The number of deposits that can be made is limited to just one per month.
If a soldier is in a situation where they cannot make a deposit, they can have someone else on their behalf, (known as an agent), make the deposit for them. In order for this to occur, the agent must have power of attorney. The only limitation the agent faces is not being able to deposit personal checks. Otherwise, they can deposit as much as desired, just as long as it fits the other requirements that have been set forth for deposits.
The soldier will be allowed to use the Savings Deposit Program until their tour of duty ends. At this time they can withdraw all of their principal and any accrued interest. If they want to continue saving money at least through the military, they will have to switch to a Thrift Savings Plan. The Thrift Savings Plan doesn’t offer the benefits as the Savings Deposit Program, as it is designed for retirement purposes, but it is still better than what one could get in the civilian world.
All in all the Savings Deposit Program can be a great way for soldiers to on their feet financially. This is especially the case with younger soldiers who may not have the same type of financial obligations that their older counterparts may have. With the money earned soldiers can put themselves in a better position to make bigger purchases such as houses or cars.
I would like some more information on this Savings Deposit Program: A Benefit for Deployed Soldiers. When do I have to start this Saving and when can I take it out?
Wanda Williams says
Your article states “The interest earned is taxable income, despite the fact that the deposit itself is not. In terms of withdrawal, military men and women can take out $5 at a time.” Do you mean you can take out a MINIMUM of $5 at a time?
Looking forward to your reply as soon as possible.
Durwood Lynn moore says
I would like to find out what happened to money that I put in soldier deposit in the mid 50s and was never withdrawn.
Robin Frick says
We have Soldiers deploying every week and we knew nothing about this. Can you please send us more information on SDP? Or tell us where we can go to get the information. Thanks for this article.
This is a great program. I strongly encourage all servicemen to take advantage of it. 10% interest with no risk on your part, that is pretty amazing. There is nothing that comes close in the civilian world. I recommend keeping the money in the account for 3 months after you return home as it still collects interest, before withdrawing it.
Also, when you request your money, it appears in your account in a couple days. So no worries about the military hanging onto your money forever.
kelley schaecher says
where do we open such an account? Do any local banks know about this or is it necessary to open them through the service and if so how do we go about that?
Where do we open such an account? Do any local banks have
By whom is the SDP account insured by?
In regards to the 10% interest, is that a one time annual interest earned? Example if I had $10,000.00 by the end of my term I would only earn a $1000.00 on it. Or is the 10% appled monthly, Quarterly or some other form? If it is applied monthly or Quarterly, then 12 months later I would have earned 13200.00 with interest on the 10000.00…
Hope someone could answer this for me…
Hope it makes sense what I am asking…
10 percent annual, compounded quarterly. can let it collect interest for 90 days upon return
It is deposited every month. For the $10,000 investment, you would get $83.34 every month the money stays in the account until 90 days after your redeployment date. It is paid out around the 11th of every month and will only pay in full month increments. If you were deployed for a full year and left it in for the extra 90 days, you would get paid $1,250 in interest when you pull it out of SDP.
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Rodney Franks says
I am wondering who I contact to take my money out now instead of waiting 90 days after I got back from deployment.