Military Connection: Carry-over Leave Law Expiring

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By Debbie Gregory.

On October 1, 2015, any service members holding more than 60 days of leave will lose those days. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 extended the authority to carry over an additional 15 days of leave (total of 75 days) to September 30, 2015. The previous authority was set to expire, but the DoD recommended a two year extension of the 75 day leave carry-over limit in 2013. This was done to provide ample time for affected members to plan and use accumulated leave, and to coincide with the reduction in combat posture in Afghanistan.

The 75-day leave carry-over limit does not apply to members who qualify for Special Leave Accrual; they may carry over up to 120 days of leave.

To ensure there is no loss, service members are being asked to check their Leave and Earnings Statement and talk with their finance office to help understand their correct balance. They are also encouraged to work with their commands to manage their leave through the rest of this fiscal year.

Members may qualify for Special Leave Accrual if they:

  • Served on active duty for a continuous period of at least 120 days in a hostile fire or imminent danger pay area;
  • Were assigned to a designated deployable ship, mobile unit, or other similar prescribed duty as determined by the service secretary concerned; or
  • Performed qualifying duties designated by the Secretary concerned.

The projected use-or-lose balance will only take into account leave that was charged to members’ accounts through April 22nd. Any leave taken or posted to the members’ account after that date will not be reflected. Reserve component members with projected use-or-lose leave, will be contacted individually by DFAS and given their use-or-lose balance.

Although previous LES’s did not account for the 75-day leave carryover expiration in projecting use-or-lose leave amounts, officials from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service say those LES projections have now been corrected for active component Army, Navy, and Air Force service members. They will appear on the April LES.

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Military Connection: Carry-over Leave Law Expiring: By Debbie Gregory