View Full Version : Small military pay raise planned for next year's Pentagon budget.

Rocky C
02-01-16, 08:57 AM
The annual budget request the Pentagon sends to Congress next week will include a 1.6 percent pay raise for troops in 2017, a historically small bump aimed at reducing military personnel costs, according to defense officials.

The 1.6 percent pay raise will fall below the projected increase in private-sector wages, which is likely to be 3.2 percent in 2017, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.

If approved by Congress, the modest pay increase would mark the fourth consecutive year that military basic pay has not kept pace with the growth in most civilian wages, reversing a trend during the post-2001 war years when military pay rose substantially.

Congress agrees on 1.3 percent military pay raise for 2016

Itís one of several cost-cutting measures targeting the Pentagonís personnel accounts in this yearís budget request that will be officially released on Feb. 9, according to officials with knowledge of the budget proposal, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The budget request will also include familiar efforts to ratchet up Tricare health care fees for military families, officials said.

Yet this year the Pentagon will be seeking far fewer cuts to pay and benefits compared to the past several years. Overall personnel costs have begun to decline after reaching a peak in 2012.

Thatís partly because the continued troop drawdown, especially in the Army and Marine Corps, has cut about 100,000 troops from the active-duty force, reducing the Pentagonís overall personnel costs. The current active-duty force of about 1.33 million is down about 7 percent from a recent peak of 1.43 million in 2011, Defense Department data shows.

And the long-term growth rate in per-troop personnel costs is projected to decline because Congress approved several new cost-cutting measures last year, including a new retirement system and that will save some money in the long run.

Top defense officials say trimming personnel costs is necessary to ensure funding for high-tech research, weapons modernization and training programs across the force aren't compromised.

The 2017 budget request is not likely to include any cuts to basic allowance for housing, defense officials said. That was on the chopping block last year when Congress approved a significant BAH reduction.

For many years, BAH covered 100 percent of average rental costs for individual service members and their families. But under the multi-year plan now in effect, that will slowly decrease, and by 2020 the allowance will cover only 95 percent of average local rent costs, leaving military families to make up the remaining difference out of pocket.

One key element of the budget that is likely to impact operations for the Army and the Air Force is a significant uptick in spending for Europe and the military response to renewed Russian aggression in recent years.

A budget increase for the so-called European Reassurance Initiative is likely to mean more rotational deployments for Army and Air Force units taking part in training missions with the Eastern European allies who are closest to the Russian border.

This yearí defense budget will likely be the first in years that does not get stalled by the budget caps known as sequestration, which took effect in 2013. Under a deal Congress reached last year, defense spending caps were lifted by about $25 billion, giving the Pentagon about $551 billion in fiscal 2017.

Combined with the nearly $59 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding for each of the next two years, that would nearly match Pentagon budget plans for the near future.

The budget slated for release on Feb. 9 will not exceed those current caps, defense officials said.

This year's pay raise, which took effect in January, bumped basic pay up by 1.3 percent, well below the growth rate for civilian wages, known as the employment cost index, which was 2.3 percent.

If approved by Congress, the 1.6 percent pay raise for 2017 would amount to several hundred dollars a year less for most troops when compared to the employment cost index, which for years was the default raise in basic pay.

For an E-4 with four years of service, the difference between the two would total about $408 a year. For an O-4 with 12 years, it would be about $1,105.

The Pentagon is likely to resubmit some of the military health care reform proposals that were floated in last yearís budget but ultimately rejected by Congress.

Last year the Defense Department called for consolidating Tricare Prime, Tricare Standard and Tricare Extra into one Tricare program.

Last yearís budget also called for new fees on military families who use emergency rooms at military treatment facilities or civilian hospitals for non-emergency care and for increasing co-pay fees for military families who seek health care outside the Tricare network of physicians.

Tennessee Top
02-01-16, 01:40 PM
The cheapest military we can get by with (as well as the most inclusive). That's what our nation is all about today. And our enemies are loving it!

2 Marine Mom
02-01-16, 11:10 PM
This is so sad, If anyone needs cut, wages, and benefits, its the jokes, in washington.

02-02-16, 09:02 AM
In my time...a small pay was all we got, period. 68 dollars a month.....34 dollars every 2 weeks wasn't going to far.

Tennessee Top
02-02-16, 09:04 AM
Post #3. I agree. Thing is though, they vote for their own pay, benefits packages, and raises. If THAT is not an example of Government corruption...nothing is! They also made sure they're exempt from Obamacare - it's good for us, but not good enough for them.

Rocky C
02-02-16, 11:27 AM
Agree !!!

02-02-16, 08:20 PM
What a joke to use the word "Pay Raise", seeing as though all of that 1.6% increase will be spent on mission essential equipment the Marine Corps fails to provide...

02-02-16, 08:27 PM
What a joke to use the word "Pay Raise", seeing as though all of that 1.6% increase will be spent on mission essential equipment the Marine Corps fails to provide...

Get use to it, Semper Fidelis.

2 Marine Mom
02-02-16, 11:51 PM
Heart breaking, our soldiers, should not have to get food stamps, to feed and clothe, there self, and families.

02-03-16, 05:10 PM
While am not happy with the prospect of lowering military pay, the compensation package the military has today is leagues ahead of what it used to be. In some cases you make more money on active duty vs. most civilian positions. This is especially the case when you factor in tax advantages of BAH etc.

Example for simplicity used married w/BAH:

Washington DC:

O-1/Married 0 kids
Total Compensation:67,000
(Approx. half is not taxable)

GS-7 (likely to be college graduate, possible prior military/experience civ. with no degree)
Total Compensation: 49,000
-housing expenses etc.

02-04-16, 09:23 AM
When I got out of the Corps in 1966, I received a letter saying I owed them money. They had overpaid me. Of course, I sent it to them. I'm proud to be a Marine, and I didn't want them to suffer in poverty like me. I wonder how many others were "overpaid"?
Pay raise? Well, think of all the benefits? ha, ha, har, ha, ha, har, ha, ha, har....

02-04-16, 04:32 PM
Hoss, I also got a letter saying I was overpaid on Separation. They said I owed them $140.00. I didn't respond.....got three letters before they stopped.

02-04-16, 04:52 PM
Make sure those unskilled, minimum wage workers get their huge pay increases though ...