Does Army Reserve Get Bah – Military service members and veterans have seen big changes in pay and benefits over the past few years.
Base pay is rising, with members increasing by 2.7% in 2022. The Basic Housing Allowance increased by an average of 5.1% in 2022, compared to 2.9% in 2021. This was the largest increase in BAH since 2016.
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The increase in BAH reflects the steep rise in housing costs across the country. At the same time, other rising costs across the country, including health care costs, have affected military families in other ways, with some increases in Tricare and pharmacy costs.
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While the pandemic has affected many services and programs offered to military families, it has also brought about the need to use technology to improve those services, such as more telehealth offered by the military health system.
Whether it’s health care, pensions, commissions and exchanges, family support, VA loans, GI Bill education benefits, or a host of other benefits, increasing the options available to you is critical to make the most of your military career. These are generous benefits. You earned them. It’s worth the effort to find out what has changed and what hasn’t.
Basic Pay Housing Allowance Retirement Tricare Wage Changes Spouses and Children Home Purchase GI Bill and Tuition Fees and Exchanges
The 2.7 percent pay increase they received in January 2022 was only slightly lower than the 3.0 percent they received in 2021. (C. Todd Lopez/Army)
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Members received a big pay raise in January, but the 2023 pay increase could be the biggest in a decade.
Base pay is determined by rank and length of service, with automatic increases as soldiers reach a certain amount of time and are promoted. In addition, Congress determines each year how much of a pay raise all soldiers should receive.
That number is tied by law to expected pay increases in the private sector, but lawmakers in the past have approved larger increases to help with recruitment and retention or smaller increases to save money for other military priorities.
The annual increase in military pay goes into effect in January each year. The White House announces its target for a raise each year in August, either in line with projected private-sector wage growth, known as the employment cost index, or offering a rationale for a proposed different rate.
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However, Congress has the final say. In the past, lawmakers have rebuffed attempts by the White House to cut wages to save money for other priorities. The raises are generally used across the board, though lawmakers made an exception at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to give some mid-career members more money to help them stay on.
The youngest enlisted members earn about $25,000 a year in base pay (not including bonuses, special pay and other benefits), while enlisted soldiers nearing retirement typically earn about $70,000 a year.
Officer salaries are significantly higher: most junior officers earn nearly $40,000 a year, while senior officers with 20 years of service can earn more than $170,000. This means that even a small change in the calculations of expected pay increases can have a big impact on military families.
For example, in past years (not in 2022) the Pentagon has supported plans to raise pay by 0.5 percent below the federal formula for annual raises.
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If this reduction were implemented for 2023, an E-4 with three years of service would see a difference of about $160 in take-home pay over the course of the year compared to the expected rate of pay increase. For a senior or junior officer, the difference is close to $340 per 12 months.
Outside advocates said the gaps, while they won’t cover a mortgage payment, are the difference between being able to afford a monthly prescription copayment or going without them. This makes even small increases or decreases a big issue in the military community.
Since the inception of the all-volunteer military in 1973, Congress has authorized at least a 1 percent increase in military pay each year, even during budget cycles when other civilian pay has remained stable. As of 2018, those increases were 2.5 percent or more.
The 2.7 percent pay increase troopers received in January 2022 was only slightly below the 3.0 percent they received in 2021. The raise followed a federal formula based on an annual calculation of the Employment Cost Index.
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For junior enlisted soldiers, the raise means $800 more in take-home pay that year. For senior and junior officers, it is $1,400 more. An O-4 with 12 years of service will have $2,600 more than in 2021.
Debates on the 2023 fiscal year pay raise have not yet begun on Capitol Hill, but are expected to begin in March. The ECI formula predicts a 4.6 percent wage increase in 2023, which is well above this year’s increase. If approved, it will be the largest pay increase for members of the military in 20 years.
Congress is expected to debate the level of the pay increase along with the rest of the defense budget in the next few months. Usually, the full budget plan is not approved until winter, even though the next budget year starts on October 1. However, in election years (like this one), Congress sometimes ends work early to avoid post-election conflicts with outgoing members.
This year, the basic housing benefit increased the most since 2016. It increased by 5.1% on average.
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That percentage is the national average, and Defense Department data showed that nearly half of America’s 300 military housing units increased by more than 5.1%.
Generally, BAH rates are adjusted once a year and take effect on January 1st. But with housing costs skyrocketing in 2021, the Department of Defense acted quickly to ease the financial burden on service members by approving temporary BAH increases in 56 military housing areas. . Members were eligible from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021. Soldiers had to apply retroactively for the extra money. These temporary increases ended when the new 2022 rates went into effect. However, soldiers can still claim the previous allowance they were entitled to.
This tax-free benefit is set at a level that covers 95 percent of the expected cost of housing for each assigned U.S. position. Individual members are now expected to pay the remaining 5 percent of housing costs out of their own pockets. .
The Basic Housing Allowance provides service members who do not live on base or in government-provided housing with a cash allowance to rent housing at local market rates. The amount paid to service members depends on their rank, whether or not they have dependents and where they are based.
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Any active-duty service member stationed in the 50 US states who does not have government-owned housing is eligible. Those who live in privatized housing — owned and operated by civilian companies for the military — typically pay their BAH each month to the housing company. Persons located in a U.S. territory, possession, or foreign country who do not have a government residence are eligible for the foreign housing allowance, which is calculated using a separate formula.
BAH is not taxable, and unlike the Overseas Housing Allowance, if a member finds housing in a civilian community below the BAH rate for their assigned location, they can pocket the difference because it is not spent what the member actually spends. to calculate BAH. (Overseas housing allowances are “use it or lose it”. Service members forfeit any unused portion of OHA.)
The Department of Defense calculates median rental costs for 300 military housing areas, including Alaska and Hawaii. Calculations are based on rental costs for a 1- or 2-bedroom apartment, a 2- or 3-bedroom townhouse, and a 3- or 4-bedroom single-family home, then compared to specific NCO and officer rates for a military service member with dependents and services. . members without dependents.
Depending on location and the local real estate market, monthly BAH varies widely. For example, an E-1 without dependents at Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms, California, receives $1,146 per month. An O4 with dependents will receive $2,274. An O6 with dependents stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., is paid $1,926 a month, according to the Department of Defense.
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Check Your Rates You can use the Department of Defense’s official BAH calculator for details on locations around the country.
Members of the service are protected from falling interest rates under the Interest Rate Protection Policy, which maintains their current interest rate for as long as it remains in force, regardless of whether official interest rates fall. However, they will receive a new, lower rate if they are demoted or if their maintenance status changes, in which case they will receive the current rate for their new status.
If local rates increase, all service members will receive higher rates regardless of when they arrived. Based on the rental cost survey, two rates are set for each location: The dependent rate applies to staff with at least one dependent,
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