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A drop in the cost-of-living allowance in most parts of Europe will put less money in many troops’ end-of-month paychecks.

In Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, the COLA rate dropped between four points and eight points on Friday. New rates for the civilian COLA, known as post allowance, have not been posted since they dropped in many areas Feb. 4.

The COLA rate reflects the costs of living at a particular overseas location compared with costs in the U.S. The more it costs to live in a particular location, the higher the rate for that location.

A spokeswoman for the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee in Washington, D.C., referred questions regarding the drop in COLA to the 266th Finance Command in Germany. The command was unable to comment by deadline because people familiar with the allowance were unavailable.

The strength of the euro relative to the dollar is likely the cause of COLA’s decline.

In mid-December, the COLA was adjusted upward in most parts of Europe after the dollar weakened against the euro.

The dollar edged up on the euro afterward. The cost of a euro on Jan. 2 — the strongest day for the euro against the dollar this year — was a fraction less than $1.33.

For most of January a euro cost less than $1.30, according to, which tracks currencies based on information from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and rates released by the International Monetary Fund.

As of Friday, COLA rates dropped four points at most major bases in Germany, including those in Kaiserslautern, Baumholder, Schweinfurt, Heidelberg, Wiesbaden and Stuttgart. Many bases in Italy, including those in Aviano, Naples and Sigonella, saw COLA cut by six points.

For example, an E-5 with four years’ service living off base in Kaiserslautern with one dependent will see his daily COLA drop from $22.76 to $20.08. A similar servicemember in Naples will see his go down from $30.79 to $26.78.

The COLA in Belgium was cut six points across the board, while it fell by eight points in most of the Netherlands. The allowance was not cut anywhere in the United Kingdom.


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