Military retirees will receive 13 instead of the normal 12 monthly payments in 2011, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) announced last week.  According DFAS, the payment dates for military retirees and those receiving portions of retired pay will change in the months of September and December of this year. 

The October payment, which would normally occur on October 3, 2011, will be moved to September 30, and the January 2012 payment will be issued on December 30, 2011. 

The changes were made to comply with the provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2011, DFAS said.  The Act requires monthly payments be processed on the first day of the month, unless that day falls on a weekend or a national holiday.  In such cases, the law requires payment to be made on the previous business day.

DFAS noted that this provision affects not only regular retired pay, but also concurrent retirement and disability pay (Concurrent Receipt), and combat-related special compensation.  It also applies to retiree allotments, garnishments, and court-ordered former spouse and child support payments.  Annuity payments are not affected.

This change could affect the 2011 tax liability for retirees and others covered by this change.  DFAS advises individuals to contact their tax advisors, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or their state tax offices to ensure that their withholding amounts are sufficient to meet 2011 income tax requirements.

Changes to current withholding amounts can be made using myPay or changing federal (W-4 of W-4P) and state (DD2866) forms available on the DFAS website.