Understanding Your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
A servicemember’s Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) is the military’s version of a pay stub. However, unlike the pay stubs you may receive at a civilian job, an LES is much more detailed (a point proven by its 78 boxes).
If you need assistance understanding your LES the following explanations are supplied courtesy of Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS).
Fields 1 - 9
This section contains the identification portion of the LES:
1. NAME: The member’s name in last, first, middle initial format.
2. SOC. SEC. NO: The member’s Social Security Number.
3. GRADE: The member’s current pay grade.
4. PAY DATE: The date the member entered active duty for pay purposes, in YYMMDD format. This is the same as the Pay Entry Base Date (PEBD).
5. YRS SVC: In two digits, the actual years of creditable service.
6. ETS: The Expiration Term of Service in YYMMDD format. This is synonymous with the Expiration of Active Obligated Service (EAOS).
7. BRANCH: The branch of service, i.e., Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, etc.
8. ADSN/DSSN: The Disbursing Station Symbol Number used to identify each disbursing/finance office.
9. PERIOD COVERED: This is the period covered by the individual LES. Normally it will be for one calendar month. If this is a separation LES, the separation date will appear in this field.
Fields 10 through 24
This section contains the entitlements, deductions, allotments, their respective totals, a mathematical summary portion, date initially entered military service, and retirement plan:
10. ENTITLEMENTS: In columnar style the names of the entitlements and allowances being paid. Space is allocated for fifteen entitlements and/or allowances. If more than fifteen are present the overflow will be printed in the remarks block. Any retroactive entitlements and/or allowances will be added to like entitlements and/or allowances.
11. DEDUCTIONS: The description of the deductions are listed in columnar style. This includes items such as taxes, SGLI, Mid-month pay and dependent dental plan. Space is allocated for fifteen deductions. If more than fifteen are present the overflow will be printed in the remarks block. Any retroactive deductions will be added to like deductions.
12. ALLOTMENTS: In columnar style the type of the actual allotments being deducted. This includes discretionary and non-discretionary allotments for savings and/or checking accounts, insurance, bonds, etc. Space is allocated for fifteen allotments. If a member has more than one of the same type of allotment, the only differentiation may be that of the dollar amount.
13. + AMT FWD: The amount of all unpaid pay and allowances due from the prior LES.
14. + TOT ENT: The figure from Field 20 that is the total of all entitlements and/or allowances listed.
15. - TOT DED: The figure from Field 21 that is the total of all deductions.
16. - TOT ALMT: The figure from Field 22 that is the total of all allotments.
17. = NET AMT: The dollar value of all unpaid pay and allowances, plus total entitlements and/or allowances, minus deductions and allotments due on the current LES.
18. - CR FWD: The dollar value of all unpaid pay and allowances due to reflect on the next LES as the +AMT FWD.
19. = EOM PAY: The actual amount of the payment to be paid to the member on End-of-Month payday.
20 - 22 TOTAL: The total amounts for the entitlements and/or allowances, deductions, and allotments respectively.
23. DIEMS: Date initially entered military service: This date is used SOLELY to indicate which retirement plan a member is under. For those members with a DIEMS date prior to September 8, 1980, they are under the FINAL PAY retirement plan. For those members with a DIEMS date of September 8, 1980, through July 31, 1986, they are under the HIGH-3 retirement plan. For those members with a DIEMS date of August 1, 1986, or later, they were initially under the REDUX retirement plan. This was changed by law in October 2000, when they were placed under the HIGH-3 plan, with the OPTION to return to the REDUX plan. In consideration of making this election, they become entitled to a $30,000 Career Service Bonus. The data in this block comes from PERSCOM. DFAS is not responsible for the accuracy of this data. If a member feels that the DIEMS date shown in this block is erroneous, they must see their local servicing Personnel Office for corrective action.
24. RET PLAN: Type of retirement plan, i.e. Final Pay, High 3, REDUX; or CHOICE (CHOICE reflects members who have less than 15 years service and have not elected to go with REDUX or stay with their current retirement plan).
Fields 25 through 32
This section contains leave information:
25. BF BAL: The brought forward leave balance. Balance may be at the beginning of the fiscal year, or when active duty began, or the day after the member was paid Lump Sum Leave (LSL).
26. ERND: The cumulative amount of leave earned in the current fiscal year or current term of enlistment if the member reenlisted/extended since the beginning of the fiscal year. Normally increases by 2.5 days each month.
27. USED: The cumulative amount of leave used in the current fiscal year or current term of enlistment if member reenlisted/extended since the beginning of the fiscal year.
28. CR BAL: The current leave balance as of the end of the period covered by the LES.
29. ETS BAL: The projected leave balance to the member’s Expiration Term of Service (ETS).
30. LV LOST: The number of days of leave that has been lost.
31. LV PAID: The number of days of leave paid to date.
32. USE/LOSE: The projected number of days of leave that will be lost if not taken in the current fiscal year on a monthly basis. The number of days of leave in this block will decrease with any leave usage.
Fields 33 through 38
This section contains Federal Tax withholding information:
33. WAGE PERIOD: The amount of money earned this LES period that is subject to Federal Income Tax Withholding (FITW).
34. WAGE YTD: The money earned year-to-date that is subject to FITW.
35. M/S: The marital status used to compute the FITW.
36. EX: The number of exemptions used to compute the FITW.
37. ADD’L TAX: The member-specified additional dollar amount to be withheld in addition to the amount computed by the Marital Status and Exemptions.
38. TAX YTD: The cumulative total of FITW withheld throughout the calendar year.
Fields 39 through 43
This section contains Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) information:
39. WAGE PERIOD: The amount of money earned this LES period that is subject to FICA.
40. SOC WAGE YTD: The wages earned year-to-date that are subject to FICA.
41. SOC TAX YTD: Cumulative total of FICA withheld throughout the calendar year.
42. MED WAGE YTD: The wages earned year-to-date that are subject to Medicare.
43. MED TAX YTD: Cumulative total of Medicare taxes paid year-to-date.
Fields 44 through 49 contain State Tax information
44. ST: The two digit postal abbreviation for the state the member elected.
45. WAGE PERIOD: The amount of money earned this LES period that is subject to State Income Tax Withholding (SITW).
46. WAGE YTD: The money earned year-to-date that is subject to SITW.
47. M/S: The marital status used to compute the SITW.
48. EX: The number of exemptions used to compute the SITW.
49. TAX YTD: The cumulative total of SITW withheld throughout the calendar year.
Fields 50 through 62
This section contains additional Pay Data:
50. BAQ TYPE: The type of Basic Allowance for Quarters being paid.
51. BAQ DEPN: A code that indicates the type of dependent.
- A - Spouse
- C - Child
- D - Parent
- G - Grandfathered
- I - Member married to member/own right
- K - Ward of the court
- L - Parents in Law
- R - Own right
- S - Student (age 21-22)
- T - Handicapped child over age 21
- W - Member married to member, child under 21
52. VHA ZIP: The zip code used in the computation of Variable Housing Allowance (VHA) if entitlement exists.
53. RENT AMT: The amount of rent paid for housing if applicable.
54. SHARE: The number of people with which the member shares housing costs.
55. STAT: The VHA status; i.e., accompanied or unaccompanied.
56. JFTR: The Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR) code based on the location of the member for Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) purposes.
57. DEPNS: The number of dependents the member has for VHA purposes.
58. 2D JFTR: The JFTR code based on the location of the member’s dependents for COLA purposes.
59. BAS TYPE: An alpha code that indicates the type of Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) the member is receiving, if applicable. This field will be blank for officers.
- B - Separate Rations
- C - TDY/PCS/Proceed Time
- H - Rations-in-kind not available
- K - Rations under emergency conditions
60. CHARITY YTD: The cumulative amount of charitable contributions for the calendar year.
61. TPC: This field is not used by the active component of any branch of service.
62. PACIDN: The activity Unit Identification Code (UIC). This field is currently used by Army only.
Fields 63 through 75
This section contains Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) information/data:
63. BASE PAY RATE: The percentage of base pay elected for TSP contributions.
64. BASE PAY CURRENT: Reserved for future use.
65. SPECIAL PAY RATE: The percentage of Specialty Pay elected for TSP contribution.
66. SPECIAL PAY CURRENT: Reserved for future use.
67. INCENTIVE PAY RATE: Percentage of Incentive Pay elected for TSP contribution.
68. INCENTIVE PAY CURRENT: Reserved for future use.
69. BONUS PAY RATE: The percentage of Bonus Pay elected towards TSP contribution.
70. BONUS PAY CURRENT: Reserved for future use.
71. Reserved for future use.
72. TSP YTD DEDUCTION (TSP YEAR TO DATE DEDUCTION): Dollar amount of TSP contributions deducted for the year.
73. DEFERRED: Total dollar amount of TSP contributions that are deferred for tax purposes.
74. EXEMPT: Dollar amount of TSP contributions that are reported as tax exempt to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
75. Reserved for future use
76. REMARKS: This area is used to provide you with general notices from varying levels of command, as well as the literal explanation of starts, stops, and changes to pay items in the entries within the “ENTITLEMENTS”, “DEDUCTIONS”, and “ALLOTMENTS” fields.
77. YTD ENTITLE: The cumulative total of all entitlements for the calendar year.
78. YTD DEDUCT: The cumulative total of all deductions for the calendar year.
If you still have questions about your LES or do not understand a specific field or numerical figure, please contact your disbursing/finance office for further explanations.
Updated by Armin Brott, April 2016