A member, who enters into a written agreement with specified service conditions for receipt of a bonus, special pay, educational benefits or stipend, is entitled to the full amount of the pay or benefit if the member fulfills the conditions for that pay or benefit. Any failure to fulfill the service requirements specified in the agreement may result in termination of the agreement and the member's repayment of an unearned portion of the pay or benefit. Current Deputy Secretary of Defense (DSD) policy memorandum, Repayment of Unearned Portions of Bonuses, Special Pay, and Educational Benefits or Stipends, dated February 6, 2009, recognized that, at the time, members were subject to statutory repayment authorities with varied requirements, and that repayment would be aggressively pursued for any unearned portion of a pay or benefit, as appropriate. However, it was also understood there may be circumstances that support the need to refrain from taking such action. For example, if a member is unable to fulfill the conditions of the agreement due to the member's death not the result of the member's own misconduct, repayment is not sought and any unpaid portion of a pay is included in a deceased member's final pay. The DSD authorized the USD(P&R) to establish additional exceptions if repayment would be contrary to a personnel policy or management objective, would be against equity and good conscience, or would be contrary to the best interests of the United States.

When the conditions of a written agreement are not fulfilled and repayment is determined appropriate, the member will be required to repay the United States the unearned portion of the pay or benefit. In cases other than death of a member, the Secretary of the Military Department concerned (or designee) will advise the Defense Finance and Accounting Service of the disposition of any unearned portion of a pay or benefit.