Changes taking effect will increases troop pay and change allowances in some areas
McLean, Va – Military.com released their 2014 pay charts and updated allowance information today, giving servicemembers the ability to accurately predict what their pay, cost of living increase and housing allowances will be in the coming year.
"Military pay can be confusing to calculate. Pay is augmented by certain allowances for housing, regional cost of living adjustments, and special duties (such as deployment or hostile duty bonuses)," said Terry Howell, Director of Strategic Alliances and Outreach for Military.com and author of The Military Advantage, an annually updated guide to military and veteran benefits.
The Defense Authorization Budget, which was signed into law last week, takes effect December 31st and gives military members a 1 percent increase in base pay. That figure is down from a 1.7 percent increase last year. The change means the average enlisted member will receive a monthly pay increase of $26 instead of $47, according to Pentagon budget documents.
Cost of living (COLA) adjustments have also changed in some areas of the country. According to the Department of Defense, some areas will see increases while other areas will lose COLA entirely. Some areas in California and the Midwest were taken off the list. On the flip side, servicemembers in some areas like Yakima and Hartford will find a nice boost in their 2014 pay checks starting in January, as those locations were added to the 2014 list. Unlike Basic Allowance for Housing, there is no provision in the law for rate protection for COLA. This means that if a location sees a drop in COLA, servicemembers will see the reduction reflected in their military paycheck.
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is another element of military pay based on geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. The intent of BAH is to provide uniformed servicemembers accurate and equitable housing compensation based on housing costs in local civilian housing markets, and is payable when government quarters are not provided. The military BAH rate is also used to determine the monthly housing stipend for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Military members can determine their pay for 2014 by using the Military.com Pay Calculator.