It looks like servicemembers can expect to receive less money in their paychecks in the coming years:
Troops could see their lowest pay raises in four decades — far below what their civilian peers will get — if proposed changes are made in the way military raises are calculated.
Since 1999, defense officials have tied the annual military pay raise to the Employment Cost Index, the Department of Labor’s calculation in the rise in private sector wages. Military raises for 2013 and 2014 would be tied to the ECI but separated from the index in 2015, dropping to a flat 0.5 percent rate. That would be the lowest annual pay increase troops have seen since the start of the all-volunteer military in 1973.
In 2016, the rate would rise to 1 percent, not linked to the ECI. In 2017, it’d be 1.5 percent, regardless of private-sector rates.
For a mid-career enlisted servicemember, for example, the raise would be more than $1,000 a year less under the new formula. For most officers with 10 years’ experience, it’s $2,000 less a year.
Pentagon officials said last week that the plans are only tentative. The pay raises will not be official until Congress approves them each year. [Stars & Stripes]
You can read more at the link, but the Stars & Stripes has a handy calculator for servicemembers to figure out how much money they will lose if this gets approved. The way I look at it is that it could be much worse if the Pentagon has to cut another roughly $500 billion if a deal isn’t reached with Congress to prevent the automatic cut.