How to Make Savings Deposit Program (SDP) Withdrawals

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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…

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

Savings Deposit Program withdrawalGuaranteed 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)
ATTN: SDP
Special Claims
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.

Additional resources:

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
Commercial: 216-522-5096
DSN: 580-5096
Fax: (Attention SDP): 216-522-5060
E-mail: [email protected]

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of The Military Wallet. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

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    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello John,

      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.”

      Best wishes.

    • 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.

  1. SGT Maddox Jimmy says

    I don’t understand why the service member has to wait to receive his/her money. they should be allowed to retrieve it whenever they want. Regardless of combat zone or garrison.

  2. Captain BrianNisbet says

    Hello i just sighed up to do an withdraw frm my sdp account, that was set up by the marrine corp in camp pembleton by my general Gerlan i,m all so full fledge seal in the navy since 1978 oct.8 to pressent. I ,m trying to get it transfered to my bank of montreal bmo and to my other bank called td. canada trust bank . What i was woundering is how many days will it take do the transfer to my accounts and will it keep on going transfering to my banks thanks brian nisbet

    • Ryan Guina says

      Captain Nisbet, the money transfers are made by ACH, which typically take 2-3 business days to clear. Contact your financial institution or the SPD administrators if the transaction takes longer than that.

  3. Ryan says

    Kate, I believe I also left mine in for about a month extra. This was several years ago, however, before using MyPay was an option. I went the ETF route and the money was in my account within one or two business days, which was nice. 🙂

  4. Kate Kashman says

    We recently withdrew my husband’s SDP contribution. The hardest part was figuring out when it would stop accruing interest, as the 90 days is a bit of an estimate and there are crazy rules about what day of the month you leave the tax-exempt area. We left in about a month extra just to make sure we didn’t miss out on any interest due to misunderstanding the rules.

    The actual withdrawal was very simple – we used MyPay (as you recommend) and it was deposited in our bank account about a week later.

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