[Updated with 2013 Pay Raise and Charts] Congress has agreed to a military pay raise in 2013 with the the Senate approving legislation that matches House legislation giving active service members a 1.7% basic pay raise in 2013. This is in line the 2013 COLA increase. Updated 2013 pay charts/tables are shown below for all individuals in the uniformed services.
- Expiring Bonuses and Allowances. Agreements to pay certain bonuses and allowances to military personnel will be extended for another year. DoD’s authority to enter is currently scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012. Some bonuses are paid in a lump sum, while others are paid in annual or monthly installments over the period of obligated service.
- Basic Allowance for Housing. 4.2% increase to the monthly payments of the basic allowance for housing (BAH), which helps service members cover the cost of housing. Provisions in the bill would allow certain dual military couples to earn a housing allowance while assigned to sea duty. It would also protect certain members of the National Guard from a reduction in BAH when they transition between active duty and full-time National Guard duty.
- TRICARE Pharmacy co-payments. The bill also proposes setting higher co-payments for those who use the TRICARE pharmacy system beginning in 2013 and would limit the future growth of those co-payments to increases in the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for military retired pay.
[Updated with approved 2012 rates] In 2011, US armed forces members received a 1.4% pay raise after a drawn out budgetary process. However in 2012, Congress has approved a slightly larger 1.6% increase in military pay. The 1.6% raise was part of the $662 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 bill (H.R. 1540).
Shown below are the final 2012 military pay charts reflecting the 1.6% pay raise. In addition to the pay raise, service members will see an average 2% increase in 2012 for their basic allowance for housing (BAH). This is equivalent to a $40 per month increase.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the total cost of a 1.6 percent military pay raise would be $1.2 billion in 2012. The 1.6 percent basic pay raise for all individuals in the uniformed services would be effective January 1, 2012.
Expiring Bonuses and Allowances : H.R 1540 also proposes an extension, for another year, to DoD’s authority to enter agreements to pay certain lump sum or monthly bonuses and allowances to military personnel. Based on the department of defense’s budget submission for fiscal year 2012, CBO estimates that extending that authority for one year would cost $3.1 billion over the 2012-2016 period.