Moving from one duty post to another is a significant component of military life. A total of about 400 thousand servicemen and women relocate every year. Most military personnel and their families accept that PCS moves will be a regular part of their service. If you get PCS orders, you must be aware of the transportation benefits to which you are entitled.
A PCS calculator has been developed to assist service troops and their families in seeing allowances and calculating the costs and profits associated with a Permanent Change of Station relocation.
A Permanent Change of Station (PCS) relocation might be between two duty stations or between your last service station and permanent residence following retirement or discharge. Depending on your choice, you may be responsible for more or less moving-related tasks and may or may not be compensated for specific costs. When relocating within the United States, service members have the option of performing all or part of the relocation themselves (known as a “personally procured move” or “DITY”), having the military arrange for professional movers to transport their belongings, or doing a combination of the two (known as a “partial-PPM” or “partial-DITY”).
Differences exist between a Government Procured Move (GPM) and a Personally Procured Move (PPM), previously known as a DITY Move (GPM). In addition to giving you more time to complete the move, a PPM provides you the freedom to pack your belongings and pick the moving company you want to use (if any). This is especially helpful for those who have received unexpected orders and cannot promptly schedule a military moving company. The government will reimburse you for 95% of the cost of a GPM if you choose a PPM, in addition to the usual family travel benefits. If you spend less than you get, you are not required to give back the difference.
To get an idea of how much the move will set you back, add up all your expected expenditures and then deduct whatever allowances you’ve been given. This can help you determine whether you’ll have any money left after the move from the government assistance you received.
If you and your family won’t be able to save much money, it could be best to let the government manage the relocation since you won’t get much in the way of personal rewards. Payouts and benefits include the ones listed below.
To quickly assess whether or not a relocation will pay off, consider the following:
- Sum total of Reimbursement – Amount Spent on Moving = X (Profit or Loss)
Reimbursement Amount = Your base pay, before taxes and fees, will be calculated based on the mass of your shipment and the distance to your next duty station. The travel office at your base will give you this number as part of the papers you must fill out. This Personally Procured Move Estimator can also be used to calculate how much the military will reimburse you for a self-move.
Moving Expenses = The total sum you’ll pay to relocate, including fuel, furniture padding, boxes, and professional movers.
X = The sum you can expect to get once the relocation is finished. If X is positive, that’s terrific. If X is negative, you should carefully examine whether or not a PPM move is the best option for you.
The most important thing is knowing how much money you will need to spend on moving. If you do the math and X comes out to be a positive figure, you may be assured that your DITY relocation will leave you with a surplus of cash. If the result is unfavorable, you might need to recalculate, change your plans, or have the government manage the relocation for you.
Moving can be stressful, so it’s wise to think about using the PCS calculator. A PCS calculator gives you foresight into your military move’s total cost and gains. This will help you make the best decision regarding your relocation. A PPM could be worthwhile even at a loss if your main concerns are related to the care and storage of your possessions or the lack of time available.