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FAQ About the DoD Savings Deposit Program

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The DoD Savings Deposit Program was created as a way to help deployed servicemembers improve their financial situation by giving them an opportunity to build their savings. However, many servicemembers (and their spouses) either don't know about this benefit or they inadvertently confuse the Savings Deposit Program with other financial plans and programs.

The following commonly asked questions are presented to help you gain a better understanding of the SDP.

Question: Is the Savings Deposit Program the same as the Thrift Savings Plan?
Answer: No, they are two entirely different programs. The Savings Deposit Program can only be utilized by servicemembers who are on a combat deployment, whereas the Thrift Savings Plan is available to all servicemembers regardless of whether or not they are deployed. Another big difference in the SDP and the TSP is that the SDP is a savings account, while the Thrift Savings Plan is a long term financial planning program (i.e. Retirement).

Question: Can members of the Reserve or Guard utilize the Savings Deposit Program?
Answer: Yes. Any servicemember, regardless of their component, can participate in the SDP as long as they are on a combat deployment.

Question: Is there a minimum amount of time that I need to be deployed in order to use the DoD Savings Deposit Program?
Answer: Yes. You must serve in a combat zone for at least one day for three consecutive months.

Question: Is there a limit as to how much I can deposit?
Answer: Yes. You may deposit up to $10,000 per deployment.

Question:Do I earn interest on the money in my account?
Answer: Yes. You will earn 10% interest on all monies in the account.

Question: Is the interest I earn tax free?
Answer: No. Even though your pay and allotments are tax free during the deployment, the interest you earn on the money in your savings account is not.

Question: Can my spouse have access to the account during my deployment?
Answer: Yes, a spouse, or anyone else for that matter, who has a Power of Attorney (POA) to handle your affairs can access the account.

Question: How do I receive my money after my deployment is over?
Answer: The funds will be electronically deposited into the bank account that you've designated your pay to go into.

Question: After I return from deployment how long do I need to wait before receiving my funds?
Answer: The funds are usually deposited approximately 120 days after your deployment ends; however, you will continue to earn interest on the funds for up to 90 days after the end of your deployment.

Question: How can I learn more information about the SDP?
Answer: Additional information about the DoD Savings Deposit Program is located on the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) Web site.

You may also call DFAS at one of the following numbers if you have any questions or would like to participate in the program:

  • Stateside: 1-888-332-7411
  • Commercial: 216-522-5086
  • DSN: 580-5096

Thrift Savings Plan
Again, please keep in mind that the TSP is not the same as the Savings Deposit Program. However, if you would like to learn more about the Thrift Savings Plan, there's an abundance of information featured at TSP.gov.

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