The military Savings Deposit Program (SDP) is one of the best places to invest money while deployed. It offers military members a guaranteed 10% return on investment, which is virtually unheard of in our current economy!
The Savings Deposit Program (SDP) has some unique rules. For example, it is only available to military members who are in a designated combat zone for a specified period of time, and except under limited circumstances, you cannot make withdrawals until you redeploy and are no longer eligible for the program. Here are some more pros and cons of the Savings Deposit Program (SDP).
How to Make Savings Deposit Program (SDP) Withdrawals
Guaranteed 10% interest is almost too good to pass up, but before signing up for the Savings Deposit Program (SDP), you should understand how to make contributions and withdrawals.
Contributions are easy, simply visit your finance office, sign a few forms (or it may be done electronically, depending on your location), and you are good to go.
You can contribute up to your base pay in $5 increments until you reach the maximum contribution limit of $10,000. At that point, you can no longer make contributions.
Making withdrawals, however, is a different story. Except in emergency situations, contributions must remain in the SDP until you are no longer eligible to participate (typically until you redeploy to your home station or out of the combat zone).
How and When You Can Close Your Savings Deposit Program (SDP) Account
Participants are only eligible to close their SPD account and make withdrawals after they leave the combat zone. There are some exceptions for emergency withdrawals, and withdrawals of amounts above the $10,000 max.
Emergency withdrawals are allowed when the health or welfare of the participant or his/her dependent(s) necessitates withdrawal. Emergency withdrawals must be approved by the participant’s commanding officer.
Members can also withdraw amounts over the $10,000 principal while they are in the deployed zone. This can only be done on a quarterly basis, as interest is assessed quarterly.
Interest accrues for 90 days after you leave the combat zone. Interest will continue to accrue for 90 days after you redeploy, so unless you need the money right away, it might not be a bad idea to leave your contributions in your SDP account to continue earning interest. You can leave your funds in the account indefinitely, but you will only earn additional interest income for 90 days. So there is no point in leaving it there long term.
Savings Deposit Program (SDP) Withdrawal Procedures:
There are four methods for requesting an SPD withdrawal: Online via MyPay, or by e-mail, fax, or mail.
- E-mail (SDP mailbox): [email protected]
- Faxed (“Attention: SDP”): (216) 522-5060
- Mail: see address below
DFAS- Cleveland Center (DFAS-CL)
1240 East 9th St .
Cleveland, OH 44199-2055
Information required for SDP withdrawal:
You must include your name, social security number, and the date you left the combat zone to prove your identity and verify you are eligible to withdraw your contributions. You must also provide information for the bank account you wish to send the money to.
Unless you opt for a paper check, your funds will be transferred electronically via an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). You will need to provide the bank name, routing number, account number, and the type of account (savings or checking). If you request a paper check you will need to provide a complete mailing address.
Tips for SDP withdrawals:
- Close your account and make sure that your allotment has stopped before requesting a withdrawal. You don’t want to continue sending money to the program after you make a withdrawal.
- MyPay is probably the fastest and most secure way to make your withdrawal. MyPay is on a secure internet connection and it limits the possibilities for manual errors made by requesting withdrawals manually via fax, e-mail, or traditional mail.
- MyPay also limits who sees your personal information. Faxes, traditional mail, and e-mail may be handled by several individuals and/or misplaced or routed to the wrong desk.
- Verify contact information before sending your SSN or other identifying information anywhere. Allowing your SSN into the wrong hands is poor OPSEC and opens you to potential identity theft.
- Opt for EFT transfer for withdrawals. Electronic funds transfers are faster and more secure than paper checks.
Based on how the military finance system operates, the information in this article is subject to change. For more information, contact the SDP Help Line before sending your personal information anywhere:
Toll-Free (US Only): 1-888-332-7411
Fax: (Attention SDP): 216-522-5060
E-mail: [email protected]
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John Ramirez says
What is the penalty for withdrawing your money early?
Ryan Guina says
I am not sure. I recommend contacting DFAS for further information. That said, if this is an emergency, you may be able to withdraw the funds early.
“Emergency withdrawals are allowed when the health or welfare of the participant or his/her dependent(s) necessitates withdrawal. Emergency withdrawals must be approved by the participant’s commanding officer. Members can also withdraw amounts over the $10,000 principal while they are in the deployed zone. This can only be done on a quarterly basis, as interest is assessed quarterly.”
Dan Dassow says
Will the money automatically return to my account after the 90 days after returning home?
Ryan Guina says
Hello Dan, You will need to request the money from the SDP. They will transfer it to your account, usually within a few days. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service.
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