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Software Problem Affects Some Service Members' Pay

Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2001 – Some soldiers, airmen and sailors will find less money in their paychecks for awhile, thanks to a software glitch that overpaid them since January, Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials said.

The officials noted the error underwithheld the Social Security contributions of some 5,600 active duty soldiers, 9,000 sailors and 1,000 airmen. The error has been fixed, but the affected members owe the government money.

About 8,100 of the service members owe less than $120 and should have seen the debt deducted from their end-of-month pay for May, officials said. They noted that members who owe more than $120 will see partial deductions in their mid-June, July and August paychecks.

The DFAS officials said about 150 service members overpaid Social Security because of the software error and should have received refunds in their end-of-month pay for May.

DFAS has been working with the services' military pay offices to alert affected service members, officials said. Paymasters are working with troops on a case-by-case basis to minimize financial hardships, they added.

Social Security contributions appear on a service member's leave and earnings statement as FICA (Federal Insurance Contribution Act) Taxes.

For more information, Navy members can contact their local disbursing office, and Army and Air Force members their local finance office.

(From a DFAS news release.)

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