Each year, servicemembers wait to see if they’re getting a pay raise. Whether one occurs depends on Congressional and Presidential action, as the increases are tied to defense spending bills that are created and approved on an annual basis. Currently, a significant military pay raise seems to be in the works. Additionally, there are other potential pay bumps that could impact specific servicemembers. Here’s what military pay make look like in 2024.
Proposed Military Pay Raise for 2024
Currently, proposals outlining potential pay increases for military service members contain a 5.2 percent pay bump. Versions created by the House and Senate both include the raise. If approved, that rate would go into effect in 2024, officially becoming the largest pay increase for servicemembers since 2002.
Is the Pay Raise Guaranteed?
While a pay raise is highly likely to materialize for military members in 2024, the above rate is simply proposed; it’s not formalized yet. As a result, there’s the possibility that it would change before anything is officially approved.
Still, the proposal is receiving significant and broad support. Both the House and Senate proposals contain the same 5.2 percent pay raise, and President Biden has also shown support for that figure. As a result, there’s a good chance it will become part of any formally approved defense spending bill.
Utilizing a BAH Calculator for Informed Financial Planning
In light of the proposed military pay changes for 2024, understanding the intricacies of your compensation is essential. One crucial aspect that service members should consider is the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), which plays a significant role in their overall financial well-being. By using a BAH calculator, military personnel can estimate their housing allowance based on their rank, location, and dependents, helping them make informed financial decisions and ensure their housing needs are met effectively. This tool becomes especially valuable in times of proposed pay adjustments, as it allows service members to plan their finances more accurately. For example, BAH income can be used to help qualify for a va loan and va construction loan or other important financial milestones.
Other Potential Pay Changes
Another proposal by the House outlines potential pay increases for enlisted service members with a rank of E-6 or below. Essentially, the pay scale for servicemembers of those ranks would get reworked, leading to a notable bump in base pay.
Based on the bill, an E-1 with a minimum of four months of service would see their base pay go up to $2,600.60 per month. An E-2 would receive $2,799.20, while E-3s would get between $2,900.90 and $3,050.60, with variances based on years of service.
The ranges for E-4s and E-5s (also based on years of service) would become $3,010.50 to $3,250.30 and $3,100.30 to $3,250.20, respectively. Finally, an E-6 who has less than two years of service would get $3,210.
The reason for this proposed change is largely based on concerns that junior enlisted aren’t receiving enough pay to afford food, housing, and similar necessities. These worries were more pronounced once inflation began skyrocketing in 2022.
Additionally, fears that military pay rates weren’t competitive when compared to the private sector played a role. If the salaries aren’t competitive, recruitment and retention become challenging, making it hard to maintain proper personnel levels.
However, it’s critical to note that this is merely a proposal at this point, and there’s no guarantee of approval. Still, the likelihood that changes are on the horizon remains reasonably high, as there’s broad support for ensuring military servicemember pay is reworked to increase its competitiveness.
Do you think the 2024 military pay raise makes sense based on the state of the economy? Do you believe that servicemembers deserve more? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tamila McDonald is a U.S. Army veteran with 20 years of service, including five years as a military financial advisor. After retiring from the Army, she spent eight years as an AFCPE-certified personal financial advisor for wounded warriors and their families. Now she writes about personal finance and benefits programs for numerous financial websites.