The Military Pay Chart for 2010 reflects a 3.4% pay raise.
Military pay raises are linked to civilian pay raises. Until 2006, military pay raises were at least one-half percent higher than the civilian pay raise each year, measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI). Starting with 2007, military pay raises were made equal to the increase in the ECI, unless Congress authorizes military pay raises to exceed the automatic level. In January 2010, the military pay raise was changed to 3.4% (ECI).
There are a number of variables that affect the amount of an individual member's military pay and allowances, including special pays, so we are including links below for the various elements that make up your military compensation.
The pay for all branches of the U.S. armed forces is the same, based upon pay grade and time in service, so you can use this pay chart to determine Air Force pay, Army pay, Coast Guard pay, Marine pay and/or Navy pay.
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Direct Deposit Required
Direct deposit of your military pay is now mandatory. Be sure your paycheck is being deposited into an account that authorized family members (a spouse or parent if not married) can access, preferably a checking account if your pay is to be used for paying bills and everyday living expenses. Before you leave home for any period in excess of 10 days or so, make sure that your deposit and withdrawal process has been tested to make sure there are no glitches.
Check with your designated pay office to be sure you are properly signed up for direct deposit. You may use either an SF (Standard Form) 1199A or a DD (Defense Dept) Form 2762 to enroll in direct deposit. Double check all entries on the form, and make sure all the digits in your bank account information are accurate. When military pay day rolls around, you don't want your pay deposited to someone else's account!
Active Duty Pay
Initial pay delay: Be aware that if you are just entering boot camp, it may take 4-8 weeks before your pay "kicks in," so you need to make sure you have enough saved to cover expenses for up to three months so you or your family can pay bills until your direct deposit starts.
Basic Pay is the main component of your military salary package. All members receive Base Pay, which is typically the largest portion of your paycheck. Your military pay grade (generally the same as your military rank) and number of years of service determine the amount of military base pay you will receive.
Military Retirees and those receiving Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities can find a wealth of information here: Retired pay
Retirees' cost of living adjustment (COLA) is graduated based on date of retirement. For those retiring prior to January 1, 2008, the COLA for 2009 is 5.8%.
Unfortunately, military retirees' and annuitants' COLA for 2010 is 0%. For many, this means their retired pay amount will actually decrease slightly, due to changes in income tax withholding and an increase in Medicare premiums for some.
Pay for Prior Years
If you happen to need a copy of military pay rates for earlier years for some reason (such as locating the pay table in effect on the date of your retirement for calculating your military retirement pay, or on the date of your divorce for calculating the amount payable to a former spouse), those pay tables are available from DFAS also.
Military Pay and Benefits Website sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness discusses the major elements of your compensation. Select the topic that interests you from one of the following topic areas:
Military Pay and Allowances discusses the basic elements of what is considered the military equivalent of private sector salaries, referred to as RMC, or Regular Military Compensation. These include basic pay (including Active Duty and Reserve pay tables), allowances for housing and subsistence, and tax advantage of the tax-free allowances.
Retirement discusses the various retirement systems currently in effect. In addition to explaining the rules regarding Final Pay, High-3 Year Average, and CSB/REDUX for active duty, calculators are available to demonstrate the potential income stream from these retirement systems and to assist those allowed to choose between High-3 and CSB/REDUX. The Reserve and disability retirement systems are described briefly.
Benefits section discusses the variety of benefits available, ranging from complete health care to commissary and exchange shopping.
Survivor Benefits section discusses the Uniformed Services Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and the Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RC-SBP).
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) discusses the Federal Government sponsored retirement savings and investment plan for members of the uniformed services.
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