Navy Cyberspace Surface Ship Website Header

2013 BAH Raise of 4.2%, Proposed

Budget Proposal for FY-13 Release

Updated: May 31, 2017

December 17, 2012 Update: According to the DoD, the 2013 BAH amounts are released and will take effect January 1, 2013. That average increase is 3.8%; did yours go up or down? By how much?

13 Feb 2012, President Obama released his “Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2013.” I have taken the liberty to extract the portion within the Defense budget overview that related to our members and families. For 2013, the information for families is limited as compared to past years.

Cares for Servicemembers and Their Families. Keeping faith with servicemembers—which the President has called a “moral obligation”—is a key component of the new defense strategy. The high quality and readiness of our All-Volunteer Force is the Nation’s most important military advantage, so it is critical that military members and their families receive the compensation and benefits that they deserve. The Budget provides a 1.7 percent increase to basic pay in calendar year 2013, the full increase authorized by current law.


Adjusts Health Care Benefits and Initiates Retirement Review. DOD has implemented a variety of internal efficiencies within its medical program and continues to seek cost savings, but it is imperative to better manage the health benefit.

The Budget introduces new TRICARE copays and fees to help constrain the cost of healthcare while continuing to provide high quality care. The Budget includes additional increases to TRICARE
Prime enrollment fees, initiation of Standard/Extra annual enrollment fees, and adjustments to deductibles and catastrophic caps. The Budget also modifies pharmacy copays to encourage
the use of less expensive mail-order and military treatment facility pharmacies. Finally, the Budget includes modest annual fees for TRICARE beneficiaries over age 65 when they transition
to Medicare coverage. These reforms will reduce DOD costs over five years by an estimated $12.9 billion in discretionary funding and $4.7 billion in mandatory savings in the Medicare-Eligible
Retiree Health Care Fund.

The Budget also includes the Administration’s proposal for a Military Retirement Modernization Commission, which, if enacted, will recommend improvements to the military retirement
system. Under the proposal, the President would appoint the Commissioners; DOD would transmit to the Commission initial recommendations to change the military retirement system; the
Commission would hold hearings, make final recommendations, and draft legislation to implement its recommendations; the President would review and decide whether to transmit the Commission’s recommendations to the Congress; and Congress would vote “up or down” on the legislation. The Administration believes that any major military retirement reforms should include grandfathering for current retirees and those currently serving in the military.

Usually, the budget proposal will make specific reference to housing in the budget summary, but this year it does not. You have to look at the actual budget numbers to get an idea. Will Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) increase in 2013? If the housing numbers that are being proposed are any indication, the answer is, no. The budget’ housing number reflects a $35 million decrease over the 2012 estimate.

Update: Thank you to the personnel at the Joint Chiefs of Staff for showing me where the BAH information was described in the budget text! It has a 4.2% raise in BAH and 3.4% raise in BAS for 2013 – interestingly it is the same increase proposed as last years (last years proposal ended up being about two full percent higher than what actually became true).

From the budget proposal:

For the basic allowance for housing (BAH) and basic allowance for subsistence (BAS), the FY 2013 budget request includes a 4.2 percent average rate increase in BAH and a 3.4 percent increase in BAS effective January 1, 2013. However, the actual increases will be based on a “by location” housing market analysis conducted for the Department of Defense and a food cost index prepared by the Department of Agriculture, both of which are measured much closer to the effective date to ensure they best capture the actual cost impact on the service member.

96 Responses to “Budget Proposal for FY-13 Release”

  1. YN1 says:


    Now that I will agree with! A Federal Civilian mid level manager can gross 4000 (before locality pay ) a month while an E6 only gets 3000 a month and E5s make between (2200-2900). I will agree that enlisted base pay needs to be revised.

  2. A Wife says:

    My husband talked about the problems people have with BAH recently. I consider our BAH as just part of his salary. So instead of trying to break down that we have this single window for rent, I look at the whole picture. (you know, like people who get paid at non-military jobs.) Then I ask myself what can I afford after my bills are paid? I have a kid, and I work part time (at a thankless min wage job while I finish my degree). But even after daycare is paid, we are still ahead thanks to the Navys CDC rates. Truthfully we pay about 300 more than our BAH, because we wanted a bigger house in a nicer area, but that was OUR choice. Of course we would love more BAH, who wouldn’t want MORE tax free money?! But it’s like some people have already said, it’s not the navys responsibility to pay you more because you had more kids or want a nicer home. There are no civilian professions that would say, here’s extra pay every month because you got married and started a family!

  3. Tim says:

    OK these post are funny as hell because everyone thinks they are right and the other person is wrong.

    From my view base housing isnt always the best I’ve stayed in crappy ones built in the early 60’s and some built in 2000’s huge difference between them and it is highly biased on some bases on who gets the new housing.

    Rank does have its perks but it also gives you more BAH for a better place in town. Junior personnel should get dibs on base.

    Anyway long story short you can almost always find a place within your BAH it may not be the best neighborhood but it is very possible the problem is the miitary is the best at living paycheck to paycheck they think because they have a steady pay check I get 1257 E5 w/ dep BAH for Jacksonville I have a 2 bedroom 1300sqft apt for 854 a month and after utilities,water,and cable I still have almost 100 left over now are there much nicer 2 bedrooms for $1300-$1400 yes but guess what I like to save…

  4. AM2 says:

    I believe that Tim is mostly right. The higher ranked individuals should live out in town since they recieve a much higher BAH then the lower ranked individuals. The housing on my base at Tinker AFB is being updated to new housing. and for the sme type of rental house in town you could be looking at rent to be around 1800 a month. So with that being said the lower ranks should have first dibs if they have families because it is obvious the even as an E-5 with dependents you only make a little over 1100 a month on BAH, that the lower ranked should have first dibs because they make way less. Plus if you look at it i mean once you get to E-6 and above you are making deacent pay. I mean look at the pay charts. One of the big jumps in pay is from E-5 to E-6. so those higher ranked individuals are doing well while the lower ranked are struggling. I believe there just needs to be a better system in place to find the errors that were made in BAH last year or maybe find a better survey group. But i dont know if any of you seen the last 2 sentences of the article but it stated that the survey group looks at the cost of living closer to the date that it is due on. With that said am I the only one that sees prices drop a little around this time of year? I.E. gas, milk, bread??? So they base it off of the little drop in price then after the first it raises back up on us. I can see why we have such problems. But enough about BAH, what about our pay. The current job i do can get me about 80,000 a year or more in town….but yet congress and the higher officials say WE make more then the civilian contractors, what???? The last time i looked at my mypay i did not see anything in the 80,000 range. So how is it that we make more then civilians yet the civilians drive better cars and have better living?? Many of these issues my shoremates and I talk about every day. Alot of the higher ranking doesnt even know where they military is headed anymore. Its scary to hear i E-6 say the military isnt the way it used to be. Yes i know times change and such and we become more politically correct but when they say they dont feel the same as they used to about it, that should tell you something right there.

    That is all folks’

  5. JD says:

    2013 rates will be released 17 December.

  6. YN1 says:

    To suggest that lower ranking people should get first dibs on housing is actually giving priority of one family over another. (Which should never happen)? I understand that some people feel they should have priority for on-base housing but it would be completely inadequate and unfair to give an E5 with 1 child priority over an E7 with 4 children. Additionally higher ranking people end up paying more for on base housing than lower-ranking people……so why would you give lower ranking priority again? Personally on base housing should be done just as it is PCS get higher priority, first come first serve and matching the size of the home with the size of the family (for the most part). If you want to save money, find cheaper housing…….PERIOD! I agree that BAH should be looked at as part of your salary if you are an E5 do not try to rent a 5 bedroom house with a 2 car garage…..(makes no sense).

    @AM2 I never read where congress stated that we make as much as contractors? The reason we will never be compared to contractors is because every CONTRACT is different. Federal Civilians is a different story, they do take into account our untaxed “BAH” when comparing salaries, and however it still seems as if civilians have the upper hand.

  7. YN1 says:

    can’t wait to see the new rates…PAY AND BAH

  8. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Basic pay rates for 2013 are here.

  9. YN1 says:

    Looks like BAH went up. Still no camparison to D.C. though

  10. NCCM(Ret) says:

    DoD has its calculator up and running, here —

  11. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Memphis for an E-5 w/Dep, the rate went up $87 (roughly +7%)

  12. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Effective January 1, 2013, all enlisted military members in a proper status draw a full BAS monthly rate of $352.27 and $242.60 for Officers.

  13. Tyler says:

    Well, the BAH rate went up considerably in the Fort Meade, MD area. My own opinion as I stated above was around 1959. It’s set at 1908 which is a bit closer to where I thought it should be from 1812…

    While it won’t be perfect, it’s a little more acceptable than before.

  14. yn1 says:

    Yeah but the bah went up for dc as well. There is still a 300 dollar difference, which seems about right.

  15. Tyler says:

    Government favoritism towards the DC area? Maybe.

  16. YN1 says:

    LOL, I doubt it. D.C. BAH was consistent with the 4.2% pay raise. Some areas got as much as 11%. The only thing I do not like is that some landlords are very aware of the BAH raise and use them to determine next year’s rental prices….ridiculous.

  17. Megan says:

    My husband and I will be relocating to Richmond VA in March 2013. We just purchased a home in this area based on CURRENT 2012 rates. Although we planned below our BAH we are pretty upset that an O-3 will get a BAH DECREASE in 2013. This came unexpencted and it’s a decrease of $40.00. I can’t believe that they would pull this. Unbelieveable.

  18. YN1 says:

    Yeah I think once BAH is set for a specified area/paygrade it should not be able to decreased. I know people who are stationed there are locked-in to the higher rate, but it is unrealistic to expect housing markets to actually “drop” or decrease.

  19. NCCM(Ret) says:

    BAH proposal for 2014 released today. 4.2% is the number again; will it end up being closer to the 4.2% or the actual 3.8% 2013 ended up being?

  20. Mike says:

    I just have to laugh. After losing my active duty career due to nonpromotion to lt col last year, and taking a 50% (lucky to have found work), it is humorous to see the whining here. I could have afforded rent for a nice home in a nice community here in Tampa at the rate of BAH I was given while on actived duty. After a 50% pay cut, I live in the ‘hood with gang activity and other issue (crime/theft) that I never had to deal with awhile on active duty. Indeed, since so many active duty military live in the area, rent prices are extravagant and living in a nice neighborhood that is safe is out of reach.

    I was active duty for nearly 15 years and loved to serve, but must say that some people here need to count your blessings. Active duty receive too many benefits and the active duty lifestyle is so much better than “regular folk” can afford. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. BAH keeps housing prices artificially high in areas where there is a high concentration of active duty.

  21. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Sir, for what it’s worth, I thank you for the service you provided this country for those 15 years, and I truly hope things do get better for you.


Leave a Reply

Before asking a question, please read the article and comments -- your question may already be answered! Here is a site search to assist you:

A Navy recruiting blog that delves into the military enlistment process and benefits of service. This is NOT an official United States Navy or government web site. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with any branches of the government or military.

©Navy Cyberspace. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise noted, content written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET).

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy