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United States Military Pay Raise News for 2016

2016 U.S. Military Basic Pay News

On November 25, 2015, President Obama signed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act into law. All uniformed service members will see a 1.3 percent pay raise effective January 1, 2016 except for commissioned officers in pay grades O-7 through O-10. The General and Flag level Servicemembers will continue to have their pay frozen at 2014 levels, and capped at the rate of pay for level II of the Executive Schedule in effect during 2014.

2016 Active Duty Pay | 2016 Reserve Pay

On November 10, 2015, the Senate passed, by a vote of 91-3, the revised National Defense Authorization Act that was also passed with overwhelming support in the House of Representatives, by a vote of 370-58, on November 5th. The revised bill fully funds the 1.3 percent basic pay raise for 2016 as expected. The defense bill now goes back to President Obama where he is expected to sign it into law.

On October 22, 2015, as expected, President Obama vetoed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act.

On October 7, 2015, by a vote of 70 to 27, the United States Senate voted to pass the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill now heads off to the desk of President Obama for consideration. Initial indications as relayed by the President are that he will veto the bill as written. Where a possibility of a delay in receiving bonus and special pays exists if this bill or other extending measure is not signed by January 1st, the actual raise amount of 1.3 percent for 2016 is no longer in question.

October 01, 2015, the full House of Representatives passed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 270-156. The Senate will vote next week. The President has threatened to veto the bill, but not for any reason that would further change the fact that a 1.3 percent increase will be all that the United States armed forces will see in 2016.

September 29, 2015, the Armed Services committees of both the House and the Senate have come to agreement on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act's verbiage. The President's support of the Department of Defense's request for just a 1.3 percent pay raise for 2016 is now one step closer to reality. If the current bill is ultimately signed into law, commissioned officers in pay grades O-7 through O-10 during calendar year 2016 will continue to have their pay frozen at 2014 levels, and capped at the rate of pay for level II of the Executive Schedule in effect during 2014.

August 28, 2015, President Obama announced that he has decided to go forward with his plan to provide just a 1.3 percent pay raise for 2016. It is not likely that both houses of Congress will push the 2.3 percent raise per the Employment Cost Index figure otherwise mandated by Title 37 of the U.S. Code.

June 18, 2015, the Senate approved its FY-2016 Nation Defense Appropriations bill by a vote of 71-25. The bill includes funding for just a 1.3 percent pay raise for the military for 2016.

June 2, 2015, the House Appropriations Committee approved funding for a 2.3 percent raise for 2016, and the measure is expected to be debated in the full House in the next few weeks. It shines a light on the possibility of the 2.3 percent raise, but coming to an agreement with the Senate and gaining the required approval signature by President Obama is still very much an up hill battle.

May 15, 2015, the full House of Representatives passed their version of the National Defense Authorization bill for 2016 by a vote of 269 to 151. The bill does not address the pay raise which means it will fall back on Title 37's mandate that the raise be 2.3 percent; however, the full Senate is expected to pass their committee's recommendation of 1.3 percent which is also in-line with the President's proposal.

May 12, 2015, as if the Senate is working from the same script that has been used over the two previous years, the Senate Armed Services Committee's personnel panel today has recommended that the pay raise for 2016 match that of the President's proposal of 1.3 percent. With the full Senate expected to follow the panel's lead, and with the House not addressing the raise whatsoever, the 1.3 percent figure is all but guaranteed to carry the day.

April 23, 2015, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel approved its mark-up for the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The mark-up does not include a pay raise recommendation which means they intend for U.S.C Title 37's 2.3 percent increase (based on the employment cost index) to rule the day; however, President Obama's budget request calls for just a 1.3 percent, and unless congress can find the additional monies to pay for the additional percentage, the 1.3 percent will be realized.

On February 2, 2015, President Obama released his Department of Defense budget proposal for fiscal year 2015. The President is requesting a 1.3 percent military pay increase for 2016; one percent below the 2.3% mandated by Title 37. If the proposal is passes, 2016 will be the third consecutive year that the pay raise is below the private sector.

On October 31, 2014, the Employment Cost Index was released indicating a 2.3% pay raise for 2016 if the automatic mechanism in place per U.S. Code Title 37 is allowed to go into effect. The Department of Defense's (DoD) current proposal for 2016 is currently just another one percent raise as it was for 2014 and expected for 2015. For both 2014 and 2015, the President dictated the one percent sighting economic issues as the reason for the lesser raise than ECI dictated. The first indicator as to how the President will proceed will be in February when he releases his budget proposal for FY-2016.

When the budget proposals for FY-2013, and again for 2015, were released, Department of Defense (DoD) officials laid out a five year plan for military pay. For 2016, DoD reportedly plans to propose to Congress a one 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."

February 2014: Current Congressional Budget Office estimates have the ECI that would affect 2016 pay at 3.5%. The Department of Defense desires a 1.0% raise for 2016 per Green Book budget projections. If these numbers hold true, the military would once again begin to see a gap in pay as compared to civilian counterparts.

The legislative news bullets relating to the process and eventual approval for a United States military basic pay raise for 2016.

Date Page Modified: November 25, 2015.

2016 military pay raise news and updates for the active duty and Reserve components of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Content contained on this page was written and developed as original content by NCCM Thomas Goering, United States Navy, Retired based on budget inputs and legislation.

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