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2020 Temporary Deferral of Social Security Taxes

  • Published
  • 920th Rescue Wing

In order to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Presidential Memorandum was issued on August 8, 2020 and guidance followed by Internal Revenue Service on August 28, 2020, to temporarily defer Social Security (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI), as seen on the Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) as "FICA-SOC SECURITY") tax withholdings in the pay of some service 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.

Key Facts:

- The Social Security tax is labeled as "FICA-SOC SECURITY" on the LES and is calculated as 6.2% of your basic pay.

- This change is effective through the end of the 2020 calendar year and only applies to your Social Security tax withholding.  Normal withholding of your FICA-Social Security taxes will resume effective January 1, 2021.

- You are not eligible to opt-out of the deferral if your basic pay falls within the stated wage limits.  The deferral will happen automatically.

- In accordance with current IRS guidance, collection of the deferred taxes will be taken from your wages between January 1 and April 30, 2021. Additional information on the collection process will be provided in the future.

- If you separate or retire in 2020 before the Social Security tax can be collected in 2021, you are still responsible for the Social Security tax repayment.

As more information becomes available, it will be posted on:

For questions on the temporary deferral of the 6.2% Social Security withholding:

- Visit the IRS page:

For more information on financial readiness:

- Visit

- Visit installation Military and Family Support Center and speak with a Personal Financial Manager or Counselor, or contact Military OneSource at