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37 U.S. Code § 354 - Special pay: 15-year career status bonus for members entering service on or after August 1, 1986

(a) Availability of Bonus.—The Secretary concerned shall pay a bonus under this section to an eligible career bonus member if the member—
elects to receive the bonus under this section; and
executes a written agreement (prescribed by the Secretary concerned) to remain continuously on active duty until the member has completed 20 years of active-duty service creditable under section 1405 of title 10.
(b) Eligible Career Bonus Member Defined.—In this section, the term “eligible career bonus member” means a member of a uniformed service serving on active duty who—
first became a member on or after August 1, 1986; and
has completed 15 years of active duty in the uniformed services (or has received notification under subsection (e) that the member is about to complete that duty).
(c) Election Method.—
An election under subsection (a)(1) shall be made in such form and within such period as the Secretary concerned may prescribe. An election under that subsection is irrevocable.
(d) Amount of Bonus; Payment.—
A bonus under this section shall be equal to $30,000.
(2) A member electing to receive the bonus under this section shall elect one of the following payment options:
A single lump sum of $30,000.
Two installments of $15,000 each.
Three installments of $10,000 each.
Four installments of $7,500 each.
Five installments of $6,000 each.
(3) If a member elects installment payments under paragraph (2), the second installment (and subsequent installments, as applicable) shall be paid on the earlier of the following dates:
The annual anniversary date of the payment of the first installment.
January 15 of each succeeding calendar year.
The lump sum payment of the bonus, and the first installment payment in the case of members who elect to receive the bonus in installments, shall be paid to an eligible career bonus member not later than the first month that begins on or after the date that is 60 days after the date on which the Secretary concerned receives from the member the election required under subsection (a)(1) and the written agreement required under subsection (a)(2), if applicable.
(e) Notification of Eligibility.—
The Secretary concerned shall transmit to each member who meets the definition of eligible career bonus member a written notification of the opportunity of the member to elect to receive a bonus under this section. The Secretary shall provide the notification not later than 180 days before the date on which the member will complete 15 years of active duty.
(2) The notification shall include the following:
The procedures for electing to receive the bonus.
An explanation of the effects under sections 1401a, 1409, and 1410 of title 10 that such an election has on the computation of any retired or retainer pay that the member may become eligible to receive.
(f) Repayment.—
If a person paid a bonus under this section does not complete a period of active duty beginning on the date on which the election of the person under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) is received and ending on the date on which the person completes 20 years of active duty service as described in paragraph (2) of such subsection, the person shall be subject to the repayment provisions of section 373 of this title.
If a person who is paid a bonus under this section subsequently makes an election described in section 1409(b)(4)(B) of title 10, the person shall repay any bonus payments received under this section in the same manner as repayments are made under section 373 of this title.
(g) Sunset and Continuation of Payments.—
A Secretary concerned may not pay a new bonus under this section after December 31, 2017.
Subject to subsection (f)(2), the Secretary concerned may continue to make payments for bonuses that were awarded under this section on or before the date specified in paragraph (1).
Editorial Notes

2015—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 114–92, § 631(c)(2)(A), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 114–92, § 631(c)(2)(B), added subsec. (g).

2008—Pub. L. 110–181, § 661(b)(1), renumbered section 322 of this title as this section.

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 110–181, § 661(b)(2), substituted “section 373” for “section 303a(e)”.

2006—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 109–163, amended heading and text of subsec. (f) generally, substituting provisions referring to repayment provisions of section 303a(e) for specific provisions relating to repayment required when person elects to receive bonus to remain continuously on active duty until completion of 20 years but fails to complete total period.

2001—Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 107–107, § 620(a)(1), substituted “equal to $30,000” for “paid in a single lump sum of $30,000”.

Subsec. (d)(2) to (4). Pub. L. 107–107, § 620(a)(2), (3), added pars. (2) and (3), redesignated former par. (2) as (4), and substituted therein “The lump sum payment of the bonus, and the first installment payment in the case of members who elect to receive the bonus in installments,” for “The bonus”.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2015 Amendment; Implementation

Amendment by Pub. L. 114–92 effective Jan. 1, 2018, with certain implementation requirements, see section 635 of Pub. L. 114–92, set out as a note under section 8432 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 1, 1999, see section 644 of Pub. L. 106–65, set out as an Effective Date of 1999 Amendment note under section 1401a of Title 10, Armed Forces.

Savings Provision

For savings provision relating to payment or repayment of any bonus, incentive pay, special pay, or similar pay obligated to be paid before Apr. 1, 2006, under a provision of this section amended by section 687(b) of Pub. L. 109–163, see section 687(f) of Pub. L. 109–163, set out as a note under section 510 of Title 10, Armed Forces.

Application to Existing Agreements

Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title VI, § 620(b), Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1139, provided that:

“The Secretary concerned (as defined in section 101(5) of title 37, United States Code) shall extend to each member of the uniformed services who has executed the written agreement required by subsection (a)(2) of section 322 [now 354] of such title before the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 28, 2001], but who has not received the lump sum payment by that date, an opportunity to make the election authorized by subsection (d) of such section, as amended by this section.”