Military pay will increase 5.2% for 2024, compared to 2023 levels. The military pay applies to active members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force.
The rates become effective Jan. 1, 2024. Official tables expected to be released by the Defense Finance Accounting Service (DFAS) in January will likely differ by a less than a dollar.
Factors That Affect Military Pay
Basic pay varies depending on your pay grade/rank, along with the number of years you have served.
For instance, in 2024, an enlisted service member with a pay grade of E-1 will receive an estimated $2,017.32 per month in basic pay. Meanwhile, a more senior enlisted person with a pay grade of E-6, who has more than a decade of service, will earn an estimated $4,387.92 monthly.
Officers are paid more. A new officer’s basic pay begins at an estimated $3,826.33 in 2024, while a more senior officer with a pay grade of O-4, having served more than 10 years, will receive an estimated $8,684.05 monthly.
Basic pay is a service member’s primary compensation. But your paycheck is also likely to contain several tax-free allowances as well as special pay based on your duty station, qualifications or military specialties. All of these things are part of normal military pay, salary or compensation.
Most allowances are non-taxable, so they can contribute to a significant portion of your paycheck. For example, the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is excluded from gross income for tax purposes.
When Does Military Pay Change?
Military pay automatically increases at the start of each calendar year, in January. Service members see the change reflected in the first pay period of the year.
The Army announced in July 2022 that all soldiers on long-term, active-duty orders would be paid semimonthly–on the first and 15th of each month–starting Oct. 1, 2022. Most soldiers were already on this pay schedule. The change, part of the service’s new Integrated Personnel and Pay System, affected only about 11,000 people.
Why Does Military Pay Increase?
The military establishes an annual pay increase to roughly mirror the increase in private-sector wages and salaries nationwide.
This increase is determined by the Employment Cost Index, calculated several times a year by the Department of Labor. The military uses the October ECI year-over-year change to determine the percentage pay raise for the following year.
However, the president or Congress may supersede this automatic amount.
For 2024, the 5.2% automatic adjustment, calculated from the ECI, remained in place.
Should you be the recipient of child support or alimony in Massachusetts the 2024 pay increase will be considered a substantial change in circumstances and you may be entitled to modify your alimony or child support payments.
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