2015 U.S. Military Basic Pay Raise
December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act into law. The one percent military pay raise for all pay grades E-1 through O-6 will be effective January 1, 2015. Pay is frozen at 2014 levels for pay grades O-7 through O-10.
December 12, 2014, the Senate, by a vote of 89 to 11, passed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill now heads to President Obama for approval and signature.
December 11, 2014, with today's vote of 85 to 14 for ending debate on the FY-2015 National Defense Authorization Act, the one percent pay raise for the military is just one more vote and signature, the President's, away from being final. The Senate should vote passage tomorrow, and the President Obama is expected to approve and sign the bill into law before Christmas. The raise will be effective January 1, 2015.
October 28, 2014, marked just one week before the national midterm elections. This election sees 33 of the United States Senate and the House's full 435 seats hit the voting block. One area that each member seeking reelection had an opportunity to do before both houses started the current break was attempt to make headway toward ensuring military members receive the full 1.8% raise as U.S. Code Title 37 dictates. The Senate Armed Services Committee's bill accepts the President's one percent raise through inaction. The House's version calls for the 1.8% raise, but failed to find the required cuts to pay for it. So, expect the one percent military pay raise for 2015 to carry the day -- just as it did last year.
On September 18, Congress began its recess so members can continue their campaign for reelection. The President's proposed one percent pay raise for the military remains the expected outcome, and will be implemented on January 1, 2015 unless Congress specifically mandates a different amount in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. Congress is expected to return to work on November 12. Points of contention beyond the pay raise will be Basic Allowance for Housing rates, and Tricare heath insurance rates. With reduced compensation apparent within the DoD budget, at least within the Veteran's Administration budget, benefits like the home loan guarantee and disability compensation, etc., do not appear to be on the table for change.
On August 29, President Obama notified Congress that he wants a one percent basic pay cap for 2015. Barring a Congressional mandate to provide for more, expect the one percent raise to stand. So far, the 2015 pay raise procedures have mirrored last year's process that also ended in just a one percent basic pay raise for the active duty and Reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
On May 23, the Senate Armed Services Committee released their mark-up of the National Defense Authorization Act, 2015, and in it contains a recommendation for a 1% military basic pay raise which is in-line with the President's proposal (with pay freeze for pay grades O-7 though O-10). The bill will be debated in the full Senate where the 1% is expected to carry, and the difference with the House's version of 1.8% will have to be worked out in conference.
On May 22, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act, 2015, by a vote of 325 to 98. The bill contains the 1.8% increase to basic pay per current law, and it is 0.8% above what was contained in the President's proposal. The House's bill will have to be reconciled with the one produced in the Senate which is expected to be debated within the next few weeks.
On March 4, 2014, President Obama released his Department of Defense budget proposal for fiscal year 2015. It will once again breaks with Title 37 of the United States Code that directs the use of the Employment Cost Index (ECI). The President will utilize the Department of Defense's input for basic pay with his proposal for a just one percent military pay increase for 2015; eight tenths of one percent below the 1.8% mandated by Title 37.
On November 19, 2013, the Employment Cost Index was released. Per Title 37 of the United States Code, the 1.8% increase in Private Sector Wage and Salary figure should be used to increase the military pay for 2015.
When the Department of Defense Green Book for FY-2013 was released, it laid out a five year plan for military pay. For 2015, DoD reportedly plans to propose to congress a half percent pay raise that would break away from the current law that dictates adjustment in military pay shall an increase at the percentage of the Employment Cost Index (ECI) for the base quarter of the year before the preceding year, "[the] three-month period ending on September 30 of such year."
Current Congressional Budget Office estimates have the ECI that would affect 2015 pay at 3.3%. The Department of Defense desires a minuscule 0.5% 2015 military pay raise. The pay scales above originally reflected DoD's desire for .5% for 2015. If these numbers hold true, the military would once again begin to see a gap in pay as compared to civilian counterparts.
Date Page Published: November 19, 2013.
Date Page Modified: December 19, 2014.
Date Page Last Reviewed: September 26, 2015.