Military Advantage

DoD and VA to Resume Normal Operations

The end of the government shutdown means the return of federal workers and the resumption of funding for DoD and VA functions. It also means servicemembers, military retirees, and veterans can relax knowing their pay and benefits will continue beyond the first of November.

As a result of the federal restart the following benefits, services, and programs will soon resume:

Of course the compromise is only and stopgap measure which will expire on January 15, 2014. We can hope Congress can reach some agreement before we get to the new deadline.

Columnist Tom Philpott points out that the resumption of government operations also means the effects of sequestration and a tightening DoD budget are also back on track. This means we can go back to dealing with issues like the following:

  • Caps on annual military pay raises, penciled into future budgets at .5 percent in fiscal 2015, one percent in 2016 and 1.5 percent in 2017.
  • Higher TRICARE fees for military retirees, particularly those under age 65 who still work in second careers.  Defense officials contend out-of-pocket costs for retirees under TRICARE are a small fraction of health cost paid by private sector workers with employer-provided health plans.
  • Deepening cuts to active and reserve component forces.
  • Implementation of the “chain” Consumer Price Index, which is used to calculate COLA and annual adjustments to federal entitlements calculations.
Read Tom Philpott’s Military Update to get the full story on how the defense budget cuts are likely to affect your military pay and benefits in 2014 and beyond. Show Full Article

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