As dollar climbs, Europe COLA will drop
November 15, 2008
Cost-of-living allowances for U.S. troops in Europe will drop for the third time in a month Sunday as the dollar continued to climb against the euro and British pound through the first half of November.
Together with cuts made at the beginning of the month, Sunday’s decrease will leave mid-ranking troops with about $150 less COLA than in October, though exact amounts depend on rank, location, number of dependents and other factors. Troops will see the reduction in their end-of-month pay statements.
Not all locations are affected by the latest rollback in allowances, according to a Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee message posted Friday on its Web page. Naples, Italy, Rota, Spain, and Schinnen, Netherlands, avoided cuts.
Hardest hit are bases in the United Kingdom, where COLA rates will fall between 10.5 percent and 13.3 percent. In Germany, rates will fall between 7.1 percent and 7.7 percent. An E-6 with two dependents and eight years’ service in most parts of Germany will get roughly $595 in COLA in November, down from nearly $763 in October, according to figures available through the Per Diem Committee’s Web site. October was a day longer than November, though, so the actual difference is less drastic than it appears.
In Germany, which houses the largest number of U.S. troops and dependents in Europe, COLA has dropped nearly 25 percent since the middle of October, according to committee data. The reductions of the last month have all been triggered by the dollar’s gains against European currencies.
The euro rate used by the Per Diem Committee to calculate COLA in euro-zone countries improved from $1.295 at the beginning of the month to $1.274, according to the committee’s message. The pound rate improved from $1.666 to $1.592.