Service members can no longer indefinitely transfer GI Bill benefits to family

The Department of Defense has changed the rules on when service members can transfer GI Bill benefits to eligible family members.

Beginning next year, service members with 16 or more years of service will no longer be able to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or a child.

Currently, there are no time restrictions on when a service member—who serves a minimum of six years and commit to an additional four years—can transfer educational benefits to their family members.

“After a thorough review of the policy, we saw a need to focus on retention in a time of increased growth of the Armed Forces," Stephanie Miller, director of Accessions Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, said in a news release, adding, “This change continues to allow career service members that earned this benefit to share it with their family members while they continue to serve…this change is an important step to preserve the distinction of transferability as a retention incentive.” 

The transfer benefit, which will official go into effect July 12, 2018, will instead be used as a retention tool and not an entitlement.

“This change continues to allow career service members that earned this benefit to share it with their family members while they continue to serve," Miller said.

Reader comments

Tue, Aug 7, 2018 Bro. Dave

Garbage journalism; this makes no sense. Instead of rendering the GOV speak into sensible language, GOV Soup simple quoted (misquoted?) it.

Fri, Jul 20, 2018

There is much more information in the SECDEF News Release at: /pentagon-announces-changes-to-post-911-gi-bill/ According to that, only those currently in service, between 6-16 years, can Transfer the benefit. They must also be expected to remain 4 more years.

Thu, Jul 19, 2018

Typical! Service Members finally receive a benefit that improved the lives of their wife and kids, (who have also borne the battle and hardships that come along with it) that has been utilized over the past 8 years at nearly fully capacity and the suits in Washington take it away for no reason. The benefits demise was its own success. This is simply a ill conceived scheme to save money. Shame on you DOD!

Wed, Jul 18, 2018

This is dead wrong to stop allowing the transfer at 16 years of service. It will lessen the likelihood of retention of experienced service members between 16 and 30 years of service. Plus, how many will have kids old enough to be able to utilize the transfer of benefits for college if they have been in less than 16 years. This is purely a attempt to save money and put lipstick on a pig by calling it a retention tool. It took a real "tool" to think this up.

Wed, Jul 18, 2018

Great, so just about the time you may actually need to make a decision on whether to transfer benefits to a child, you will no longer be able to do that. Very shortsighted decision.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
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