May 23, 2011

Married to the Military Monday- The LES

It's been a while, let's have a Married to the Military Monday...shall we?

I woke up this morning to find a few e-mails from my husband in my Inbox. One of those e-mails was requesting me to log in into his MyPay account and get some information from his LES. This got me thinking that some of you that are new to the military might not even know what an LES is. Even those of you that have been married to the military for a while may not know what information an LES contains. I'll start with the basics:

LES stands for Leave and Earnings Statement. It is the equivalent of a pay stub from a civilian paycheck. Unlike a civilian paycheck, it contains information about the military member that is much more in-depth.

The first thing you will see is the military members name. It is listed formally: Last name, First name, Middle initial. This is just as it would be if you sent them a letter.

The next thing listed is their social security number.

You will also see their Pay Grade. This is the rank they hold in the military. Their pay is based on this, as well as time in service, and the number of dependents they hold.

At the top, you will also see the Pay Date. This is the date that the military member entered active duty military status for pay purposes.

To the right of that you will see the box that lists the number of years the member has in the service.

ETS is next, the Expiration Term of Service. This is the date that the military member's contract is up, and unless they reenlist or something else changes, they are no longer obligated to serve past this date.

Branch is also listed at the top. This is, of course, the branch of military service that you are attached to, or what program they are enrolled in.

ADSN/DSSN is next, and that looks all confusing. This is the Disbursing Station Symbol Number used to identify each disbursing/finance office, and more than likely, nothing that you will need to worry about.

Period Covered is simply the pay period that you are being shown, and paid for, below.

The next columns you will see, are as titled: Entitlements, Deductions, Allotments, and Summary.

The Entitlements column lists out everything that the military member is entitled to be paid for, as of that pay period. This could include, Base Pay, BAS, BAH, being Navy we get sea pay, et cetera.

Listed under Deductions you will see any deductions that are being taken out of the service members pay, before you receive your pay. This includes, tax, meal deductions, life insurance, and a number of other things.

Underneath Allotments will be the things listed that you are voluntarily having removed from your paycheck, such as dental insurance, car payments, or money that you want directly placed into a savings account.

The Summary breaks all these things down for you.

 + Amt Fwd: This is the amount of any unpaid pay or allowances from the prior LES.

+ Tot Ent: This is the total of all the Entitlements.

- Tot Ded: This is the total of all the Deductions.

- Tot Allt: This is the total of all the Allotments.

= Net Amt: This is the net amount of the service members pay.

- Cr Fwd: This is the number of all unpaid pay or allowances that will appear on the next LES.

= EOM Pay: This is the amount to be paid at the end of the month.

DIEMS: This is the date the service member initially entered military service.

RETPLAN: This is the type of retirement plan that has been chosen.

Now, let's talk about Leave. I know that you all know what Leave is when it's time for your military member to take Leave, but let me explain a little bit about the details of Leave on the LES.

Across the Leave row you will see some things that might not make sense to you. This may make it difficult for you to determine just how much leave your service member has accumulated. I'll break this down for you below:

BF Bal: This is the brought forward balance. This may be the balance earned at the beginning of the Fiscal Year*, or when they began active duty.

Ernd: This is the amount of leave earned, listed in days. This could be from the beginning of the Fiscal Year*, or the current term of enlistment, if the member has reenlisted since the beginning of the Fiscal Year*. This usually increases 2.5 days each month.

Used: This is the amount of leave used listed in days. This is the amount of Leave days that have been used in the current Fiscal Year*.

Cr Bal: This is the current amount of Leave balance that is current as of the end of the last LES statement.

ETS Bal: This is the projected leave balance to the member's Expiration Term of Service.

Lv Lost: This is any number of days of Leave that have been lost.

Lv Paid: This is any number of Leave days that have been paid as of the date of the LES.

Use/Lose: This is the number of days you will lose if you do not take these days of Leave within the current Fiscal Year*.

The next rows are the rows for tax purposes. You will see a list for Federal, FICA, and State Taxes.

M/S: "M" is for married, "S" is for single.

Ex: This is short for exemptions.

Next is your Pay Data row:

BAQ Type: This is the members type, with dependents, or without, of basic allowance being paid for quarter status.

BAQ Depn: This is what type of dependent the member claims, spouse, child, parent, et cetera.

VHA Zip: This is the zip code that is used to determine the amount of housing allowance that the member is entitled to receive.

Rent Amt: This is the amount of rent that is paid toward housing.

Share: This is the amount of people the military member shares the cost of housing with.

Stat: VHA status: This is rather the status of the member is accompanied, or unaccompanied.

JFTR: This is where the Joint Federal Travel Regulation code is listed. That is based on the location of the member so that the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) can be determined.

BAS Type: This is what kind of rations the military member is receiving.

Charity Type: This block is for any charitable donations the member has chosen to contribute to.

TPC: This field is typically used for the Army Reserves and the National Guard.

PACIDN: This is the active unit identification code, or UIC.

Thrift Savings Plan: These fields will be used if you have developed any type of savings plan, or contributions that requires there to be any withholding from your pay.

Remarks: Any notices will be in this section. This could be any allotments that have been started, or stopped. This could also be something like a notice of an upcoming case lot sale at your local commissary.

I really hope this helps some of you. I know that it helps me to know as much as I possibly can about my husband's career, the jobs he performs, and anything that helps me be a part of that life, or enables me to help him out on a moments notice.

*Fiscal Year- this is the accounting year, when the books are opened and closed for financial purposes. The federal governments Fiscal Year is October 1st- September 30th.

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