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Today, February 2, 2015, President Obama released his budget proposal for fiscal 2016. The defense portion of the national budget would amount to $534 billion; roughly eight percent above that enacted for fiscal year 2015. But only a small portion of that increase will end up in the pockets of our Servicemembers.
Unless Congress can find the monies required, the military pay raise for 2016 will once again be below that of the private sector. The measure used for raising military pay is the Employment Cost Index (ECI). ECI is used because it is gauge of how the private sector’s pay adjusts. The period used for the 2016 pay raise indicated a 2.3 percent increase over the previous year; however, the President has only proposed an increase of 1.3 percent. For the last two years, 2014 and 2015, a one percent raise was enacted, and each of those were 0.8 percent below that of the private sector. A trend that is sure to continue unless change happens.
The change looks to be coming in the form of a change to the current military retirement system. Currently, retirement pay is directly coupled to a qualifying Uniformed Member’s basic pay. A decoupling should provide for a more consistent compensation while wearing the uniform with that of the private sector.
The budget proposal calls for a modest 1.5 percent increase for Basic Allowance for Housing (a placeholder amount — each zip code will vary depending on local economy), and an increase of 3.4 percent increase for Basic Allowance for Subsistence.
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.
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Unless otherwise noted, content written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET).