Effective October 2022, the Army is eliminating the once-a-month paycheck option. Are you a soldier currently receiving military pay in one monthly paycheck? Starting in Cctober 2022, you'll join your fellow service members receiving a mid-month pay deposit. What's happening, how will it unfold and what does it mean for your family's spending plan?
What Is Once-a-Month Pay?
Most service members receive military pay in two paychecks each month. The first paycheck, called the mid-month pay, is paid on the 15th (or the previous business day if the 15th is a weekend or holiday). The second paycheck, called the end-of-month pay, is paid on the first of the following month (or the previous business day).
Despite getting two paychecks, military pay is actually calculated on a monthly basis. The mid-month paycheck is an advance of half of your anticipated pay for the entire month. That's why mid-month pay shows up as a deduction on your Leave and Earnings Statement.
Only the Army Is Changing
For many years, that twice-a-month paycheck has been the default payment schedule. Only Army, Air Force and Space Force members have the option to request to get paid once a month. (Personally, I've always been jealous, since we budget monthly.)
This change only impacts the Army, which announced its decision in July.
"The Air Force and Space Force will continue to offer the once-a-month pay option for members," according to Laurel Falls, Department of the Air Force spokeswoman.
How Much Pay Will You Receive on Which Dates?
If you're currently receiving once-a-month pay, you'll receive your usual full paycheck on Sept. 30, 2022 (for Oct. 1, a Saturday).
Then, you'll receive approximately half of your usual paycheck on Oct. 14. The remaining portion of your October pay will be paid on Nov. 1. You will continue to receive approximately half of your full month's pay on every mid-month payday in the future.
How Will This Impact Your Spending Plan?
In good news, it is easier to change from once-a-month to twice-a-month than the other way around. If you are used to budgeting for the whole month, this will be easy. Just let that mid-month paycheck sit in your account until you pay bills at the beginning of the month. This should be seamless for you.
If you find that this upsets your established money management schedule, your installation has personal financial managers who can help. They're usually located at the family readiness center, and sometimes they have slightly different titles. If you ask for the personal finance person, you'll be pointed in the right direction.
For most families, this change will be pretty easy to absorb. But it could be surprising if you didn't know to expect that mid-month pay deposit. Now you'll know what it is, and that you just need to set it aside to do your usual money management at the end of the month.
Keep Up With Military Pay Updates
Military pay benefits are constantly changing. Make sure you're up-to-date with everything you've earned. Subscribe to Military.com to receive updates on all of your military pay and benefits, delivered directly to your inbox.