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Allotments of pay


"Allotee" means the person or institution to whom an allotment is made payable. 

"Allotment" means a recurring specified deduction for a legal purpose from pay authorized by an employee to be disbursed on a pay period basis to an allotee. 

"Continental U.S." means the contiguous states excluding Hawaii and Alaska. 

"Discretionary allotments" means a recurring specified deduction for a legal purpose from pay authorized by an employee to be disbursed on a monthly basis to an allottee. 

"Pay" means the net pay due an employee after all deductions authorized by law (e.g., Federal tax, social security deductions, garnishments, retirement, etc.) have been deducted. 

Authorized Allotments

Subject to the considerations outlined below, employees may make allotments of pay for:

  • Dues to a labor organization 
  • Dues to an association of management officials and/or supervisors 
  • Dues to a foreign affairs agency organization 
  • Income tax withholdings 
  • Savings 
  • Child support or alimony payments 
  • Charitable contributions to a Combined Federal Campaign 
  • Repayment of a loan from a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account 
  • Repayment of advances of pay under 5 CFR 550, Subpart B, (new hire) and 5 U.S.C. §§ 5522 and 5523 (evacuation from a danger zone). 

An employee may assign the full amount of his or her net pay to a financial institution or Federal or State chartered credit union to be credited to his or her account or an account held jointly.

The head of the operating unit has discretion to permit an employee to make an allotment for any prudent purpose he or she deems appropriate. Discretionary allotments have historically been permitted to employees (e.g., Wage Marines, NOAA Corps Officers, and employees excluded from coverage of 31 U.S.C. § 209 as a result of having a duty station outside the continental U.S.).

Number of Allotments

Under 31 U.S.C. § 209, an employee within the continental U.S. may not have more than two savings allotments. An employee assigned to a post of duty outside the continental U.S. may not have more than one savings allotment.

Dues to Labor Organizations

To make an allotment for dues, an employee must be a member of a labor organization which is the exclusive representative for the bargaining unit and has a dues withholding agreement with the appropriate bureau or operating Unit of the Department. The labor organization is responsible for providing allotment forms and explaining provisions for canceling allotments. 

Sufficiency of Funds

An allotment may not be made by an employee whose earnings are not regularly sufficient to cover the amount of the allotment. An authorized allotment will not be withheld when net salary in any particular pay period is not sufficient to cover the amount of all allotments in effect. Neither will the agency make adjustments to compensate for allotments missed due to insufficiency of funds.

Effective Date

Except when a later date is agreed upon, an allotment of pay will take effect with the paycheck issued for the first pay period that begins on or after the servicing personnel office has received the properly completed allotment form. 

Discontinuance of an Allotment

The bureau/Operating Unit will not be responsible for any amount overpaid to an allottee because the employee failed to give timely notice for discontinuance of an allotment. 


31 U.S.C. § 3332, allotment of pay to a checking or savings account;
5 U.S.C. § 5525, allotments of pay, head of agency authority;
37 U.S.C. § 706, NOAA Corps allotments of pay;
5 U.S.C. §§ 7115 and 7135, allotments for dues to labor organizations and associations of supervisors and managers;
5 U.S.C. §§ 5522 and 5523, allotments on evacuation;
31 U.S.C. § 210, recurring payments covered by direct deposit/EFT;
5 CFR Subpart C, 550.301 through 550.381. 

Reviewed and updated November 13, 2019