In order to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Presidential Memorandum was issued on August 8, 2020 and guidance followed from Internal Revenue Service on August 28, 2020, to temporarily defer Social Security (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax withholdings. This change is effective through the end of the 2020 calendar year.
Maj. Phillip Roth, 82nd Comptroller Squadron commander, said the best way for military and civilian Airmen to calculate their Social Security Tax deferral amount is to access their Leave and Earnings Statement on MyPay. Then, members should multiply their monthly individual base pay by 6.2% for September-December.
But, there is a catch. The tax deferral will cost military and civilians during the first four months of 2021.
"It is important for our Airmen and civilian employees to understand that the Social Security deferral amounts received over the next four months will be collected back during the first four months of 2021," he said.
Military Members - Effective for the September mid-month pay, DFAS will temporarily defer the withholding of your 6.2% Social Security tax if your monthly rate of basic pay is less than $8,666.66. If your monthly rate of basic pay is at or above this threshold, your Social Security tax withholding will not be affected by the temporary deferral. Military members can use their August or prior LES as a good reference for their typical Social Security tax amount. The Social Security tax is labeled as “FICA-SOC SECURITY” on the LES and is calculated as 6.2% of basic pay.
Civilian Employees - Effective pay period ending September 12, 2020, DFAS will temporarily defer your 6.2% OASDI tax withholding if your wages, subject to OASDI are less than $4,000 in any given pay period. Employees can use the “Taxable Wages” on the LES as a good reference for whether they will have OASDI tax deferred.
The OASDI deduction is found on your LES under the deductions tab/section.
Military members are not eligible to opt-out of the deferral if their Social Security wages fall within the stated limits. The deferral will happen automatically.
Civilian employees are not eligible to opt-out of the deferral if their Social Security wages fall within the stated limits. The deferral will happen automatically.
Per IRS guidance, collection of the deferred taxes will be taken from wages between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2021, for both military members and civilian employees. Additional information on the collection process will be provided in the future.
If a military member or civilian employee separates or retires in 2020 before the Social Security tax can be collected in 2021, they are still responsible for the Social Security tax repayment. Additional information on the collection process will be provided in the future.
For questions on the temporary deferral of the 6.2% OASDI withholding:
For more information on financial readiness:
Still have questions? See the FAQs for more information.