G.I. Bill benefits transfer now easier

By Tom Philpott: FNM columnist

Service members nearing the end of their careers will find it easier than first thought to transfer new Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to their spouse or children, under Department of Defense regulations.

And service members who elect to transfer GI Bill benefits will be allowed to modify or revoke that decision at any time, thus keeping control of a benefit with an average start value estimated at $75,000 to $90,000.

Bob Clark, assistant director of accession policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, discussed the transferability feature of the new GI Bill in some depth during a recent phone interview.

The details should comfort many long-serving careerists — including enlisted members facing high-year tenure rules or officers facing mandatory retirement — who worried about being denied transferability because they might not meet a requirement in law to serve four additional years.

Clark said the four-year requirement will be relaxed, and for some waived entirely, for individuals near to retirement.