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Advance Pay for a PCS

Advance Pay

If you have PCS orders you can receive advance pay and allowances with commander’s approval. These include advances on basic pay and Basic Allowance for Housing.  Up to three months of basic pay at either the old or new duty station can help with out-of-pocket expenses, not typical of day-to-day military living.  If you can not afford a PCS expense but expect reimbursement for it after the move then an advance in pay may be what you need.

Advance pay and housing allowances are repaid as paycheck deductions, normally beginning the month after the advance is drawn. With permission, repayment can be delayed up to three months.

Ideally, you should start saving for your next PCS as soon as you arrive at your duty station.  Perhaps, setup a special savings account just for this purpose at your bank.  Even saving just $20 a month will put you on the right track to finance your next move.  A 1999 PCS Cost Study reported that the average service member in the U.S. Army spends $1,774 during a PCS that is not reimbursed. The average service member PCSing from OCONUS to CONUS spends $1,952 above what is reimbursed. So you can see how important it is to save. Many service members count on using an advance pay to finance their PCS. Since an advance pay is a form of a loan, it is wise to use this only as a last resort. Any type of loan must be repaid and this will decrease your income in the future. Unfortunately, we often heard stories of service members who took an advance pay, used it for expenses not related to the PCS, and still have to somehow cover those PCS costs. If you would like further information about how to prepare a budge in general or specifically to plan for your PCS, give you local family support center a call and arrange an appointment with the Financial Readiness Manager.


Helpful Sites: - Page 4 of this document has a great summary of the purpose of Advance Pay. - This site is the “Joint Federal Travel Regulations brought to you by the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee.


Compiled by Leanne Kocsis, (updated 2/26/2010)


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