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US Troops See A Halt To Social Security Deduction, For Now

The Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington on March 27, 2008.

Credit: Associated Press

Above: The Pentagon is seen in this aerial view in Washington on March 27, 2008.

The Trump administration isn’t giving troops a choice. They will see extra money in their pockets, beginning this week. Part of an executive order signed by the White House, all federal workers will see their payroll taxes suspended.

Kathi Bradshaw, counsels military families on their finances for the Support the Enlisted Project. Her advice to troops is to hold off spending the money.

“So it’s going to feel great going into the holidays and then it’s going to feel bad. So they have to make some choices on how they want to manage this,” Bradshaw said.

Normally, the Social Security deduction is 6%. The Pentagon has announced that beginning in January and going until April, the deduction will be doubled to repay the money. For the average E 5 — a Navy petty officer or a Marine sergeant — that’s an extra $200 a month, she said.

“It’s your money. You are welcome to spend it however you want to. If you can. If you think $200 a month coming out of my check from January to April is going to sink my ship, then plan now," she said.

Bradshaw recommends paying down debt or just putting the money in a savings account if the household can’t afford the extra bill in January.

President Trump has said on Twitter that if he is re-elected, he will find the money to repay the money taken by skipping the payroll tax deduction. Critics say he doesn’t have the power to do that without Congress.

The White House announced the suspension in August. It is largely voluntary, but the president ordered federal workers, which includes the U.S. military, to participate in the executive order, suspending the payroll tax deduction, as part of the president’s COVID-19 effort.

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Steve Walsh
Military Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover military and veterans issues for KPBS and American Homefront, a partnership of public radio stations and NPR. I cover issues ranging from delpoying troops along the California border to efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans.

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