Post 9-11 GI Bill Includes Ability to Transfer
The post 9-11 GI Bill is a pretty good benefit. It can provide for an education for a service member who leaves active duty or for those who desire, while still on active duty. In addition to providing the service member an education, the Services were given the opportunity to use the GI Bill as a retention tool by allowing the service member to transfer benefits to spouses or children. In order to make the transfer, the service member must commit to stay on Active Duty.
DoD Attempted to Limit Post 9-11 Transfer Options
In 2019, DoD apparently decided that there really isn’t a problem with retaining service members once they reach 16 years of service. In early 2019 they announced a new policy that would not allow service members with 16 or more years of service to transfer benefits, regardless of how long the service member commits to staying on Active Duty. The policy was set to go into effect in July of 2019
There was significant blowback about the policy from military organizations and from Congress as well. DoD delayed the implementation date to January 2020.
Congress Limits DoD's Ability to Limit Transfer GI Bill Benefits
That wasn’t good enough for Congress and the 2020 NDAA included language to limit that policy. Specifically, the act says:
Section 3319(j) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
``(3) The Secretary of Defense may not prescribe any regulation that would provide for a limitation on eligibility to transfer unused education benefits to family members based on a maximum number of years of service in the Armed Forces.''.
In essence, Congress said, “No you won’t limit access for those with 16 or more years of service.”
If you have 16 or more years of service and you haven’t transferred benefits, this is a good deal for you. You might want to take care of it pretty soon though as there still can be an Active Duty Service Commitment.
Is Your Financial Advisor Up-to-Date on Military and Veteran Benefits?
Military and Veteran Benefits change constantly. We think if you’re in or retired from the military, your financial advisor or planner should spend a lot of time keeping up with those benefits.
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