- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
- Combat fatigue: elite special forces troops are ‘fraying,’ Gen. Joseph Votel warns
- German foreign minister to meet Kerry to discuss spying claims
- Florida police spokesman tells citizens: ‘Get yourself some firearms’
Pentagon proposes pay raise in austerity budget
Question of the Day
Military personnel will get a 1.7 percent pay raise for the next two years, but the rate will drop significantly after 2014, according to Defense Department officials.
Military personnel will see a pay raise of 1.7 percent in 2013 and in 2014, up from 1.4 percent in 2011 and 1.6 percent in 2012. Pay raises will drop to 0.5 percent in fiscal 2015, then increase to 1 percent in 2016 and to 1.5 percent in 2017.
The Pentagon said the smaller raises will help control personnel costs, which have risen 90 percent since 2001. Delaying pay-raise reductions will give military members time to plan for smaller increases, officials said.
"We will slow growth in pay, but there will be no pay freezes or cuts," said Robert Hale, the Pentagon's comptroller, during a press briefing Monday.
According to a defense budget overview released Monday, the higher pay raises during the next two years will help personnel deal with the "stress of military life" and "attract and retain needed personnel."
Comparatively, the Obama administration is proposing a pay raise of 0.5 percent during the next two years for federal workers who have endured a two-year pay freeze.
The new budget also proposes increases in military health insurance enrollment fees and increases in pharmacy co-payments for retirees, to be phased in over the next four years.
Changes to health care benefits would not apply to active duty service members, those who retired with disabilities or survivors of service members who died on active duty.
The total cost for military health care is $48.7 billion for 2013, down from $52.8 billion in 2012.
The Pentagon did not propose any changes in military retirement for 2013, but is recommending that Congress establish a commission to conduct a comprehensive review of retirement benefits. All proposed changes under the commission would apply only to new recruits.
Total savings in military pay and benefits will amount to $29 billion during the next five years.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Despite Pentagon cuts and eye on Pacific, Air Force implored to save the 'Warthog'
- Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed
- Rep. Hunter to Pentagon: Don't lower combat standards for women
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
TWT Video Picks
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: 'We cannot afford to wait on Congress' for immigration
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
- DOJ investigates Norfolk parade float critical of Obama
- 'Be a leader' Perry tells Obama to confront border crisis
- Eric Holder on Palin: 'She wasn't a particularly good vice presidential candidate'
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- NASCAR TV contract back to NBC in 2015, leaving ESPN, Turner Sports
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs