2017 U.S. Military Basic Pay Raise
December 23, 2016, President Obama signed the last National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of his presidency. The 2017 NDAA contained a 2.1 percent across the board pay raise for the active and Reserve military personnel. The 2017 pay raise becomes effective on January 1, 2017 and will be first reflected in the January 13th pay check.
December 8, 2016, the full Senate passed the final conference report for the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 92 to 7. The bill will now move to President Obama for final signature. If approved by the President, the 2.1 percent pay raise for 2017 will become effective January 1, 2017.
December 02, 2016, the full House passed the conference report for the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 375 to 34. The full Senate is expected to follow suit next week. After Senate approval, the bill will move to the President for signature. If approved by President Obama, the 2.1 percent pay raise for 2017 will become effective on January 1, 2017, and be reflected in the 15th paycheck (Friday, January 13th).
November 29, 2016, the House and the Senate have completed their reconciliation of the national defense authorization bill. The reconciled bill now contains the increase in-line with the Employment Cost Index, per U.S.C. Title 37, of 2.1 percent. The 2.1 percent pay raise is at odds with the desire of the Department of Defense and the President's official setting of an alternative raise on August 31st allowed by the same U.S.C Title. Based on comments made by President Obama earlier this year, it is somewhat likely that the bill containing the 2.1 percent raise will be vetoed; a raise that is projected to cost an additional $2.2 billion through 2021.
August 31, 2016, President Obama has set the 2017 military basic pay raise at 1.6 percent. While the percentage increase falls below the law's initial trigger which would have resulted in a 2.1 percent raise, it is well within the President's scope to provide a "pay adjustment which would otherwise be required by this section in any year to be inappropriate, the President shall prepare and transmit to Congress before September 1 of the preceding year a plan for such alternative pay adjustments as the President considers appropriate, together with the reasons therefor." Today, the President has done just that.
June 14, 2016, the full Senate passed their version of the National Defense Authorization bill for 2017 by a vote of 85 to 13. The bill supports a 1.6 percent military basic pay raise which is one half percent less than the full House of Representatives bill that includes a 2.1 percent raise which is in-line with the Employment Cost Index. Both houses of Congress must now meet and reconcile the differences in the two bills before a final bill can be sent to President Obama for final approval and signature. President Obama has indicated problems with both the House and the Senate bills; the President has threatened to veto both current renditions. It remains unlikely that the combined bill will contain a higher raise than the one proposed by both the President and the Senate. Expect the pay raise for 2017 to be at 1.6 percent.
May 18, 2016, the full House of Representatives passed their version of the National Defense Authorization bill for 2017 by a vote of 277 to 147. The bill calls for a 2.1 percent military basic pay raise; however, the full Senate is expected to pass their committee's recommendation of 1.6 percent which is also in-line with the President's proposal. If the full Senate passes their version of the bill with the 1.6 percent raise, then leaders of both houses must reconcile the bill before it could be sent to President Obama for signature. The President has threatened to veto the current House version of the 2017 NDAA because it does not fully fund the Department of Defense's overseas operations while adding unplanned out-year costs to its personnel budget.
On April 19, 2016, the House of Representatives Armed Services Subcommittee for Military Personnel added a 2.1 percent military pay raise for 2017 to the House version of the NDAA. The 2.1 percent figure is in line with the Employment Cost Index per U.S. Code Title 37; however, President Obama has once again followed the desires of the Department of Defense by submitting a 1.6 percent pay raise for the same period in his FY-2017 proposal released on February 9th of this year. For the 2.1 percent pay raise to be realized, Congress must find the additional monies to pay for it; otherwise, just has been the case in recent years, the President's proposal will carry the day. Expect only the 1.6 percent increase to be added to 2016 basic pay for 2017.
On February 1, 2016, according to Andrew Tilghman, the author of the article, "Small military pay raise planned for next year's Pentagon budget" in Military Times, the Department of Defense budget proposal for FY-2017 contains a 1.6 percent basic pay raise. A 1.6 percent would be one half percent less than the automated 2.1 percent increase per Title 37. The President is expected to formally release his budget proposal the morning of February 9th.
October 30, 2015, at 0830EST, the United States Employment Cost Index (ECI) was released. The ECI that is utilized for the 2017 raise per Title 37 of the United States Code is the “wages and salaries, for private industry workers for the period ending September 2015”; this morning’s number is 2.1%. For 2017, the military should see a raise of 2.1%; however, if the last three years are an indication, President Obama will follow DOD’s recommendation, and currently, according to the latest "Green Book" release, that would be just a 1.3 percent raise once again unless Congress can find the additional funds to cover it.
March 17, 2015, the Comptroller for the Department of Defense released the FY-2016 Green Book which lays out pay projections for out years. For 2017, the raise amount projected is 1.3 percent, 0.3 percent above last year's Green Book estimate.
March 24, 2014, the budget proposal for via the Green Book for FY-2015 was released, Department of Defense (DoD) officials laid out a five year plan for military pay. For 2017, DoD reportedly plans to propose to congress a 1.0% pay raise. Current Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate projects the ECI that would affect 2017 pay at 3.5%. If the full five year plan goes forward as originally articulated and the CBO estimates hold true, a majority of the gap in pay that took over a decade to close would once again be in place.