COLA drops again at four posts in Japan
October 5, 2007
Servicemembers at three Navy bases and one Army post in Japan have seen their COLA allowance drop four points in the past month, with the latest two-point dip hitting them this week, according to the Defense Department’s Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee Web site.
The Cost of Living Allowance rate fell by two points for all troops in Japan and Okinawa on Sept. 16. It fell again Monday by the same rate at Yokosuka Naval Base, Atsugi Naval Air Facility, Sasebo Naval Base and Camp Zama, but held steady elsewhere in Japan and Okinawa.
The COLA index is used as a guideline to determine how much money servicemembers receive. Amounts depend on duty station, rank, time in service and number of dependents.
In addition, troops living in barracks receive only 47 percent of the COLA index, according to the allowance committee’s Web site.
For an E-6 at Yokosuka with eight years in the Navy and two family members, the allowance has dropped by $5.21 a day — to current $28.90 from $34.11 on Sept. 1. For a single E-4 with three years of service living in the Yokosuka dorms, the daily COLA has fallen to $8.74 from $10.23.
The COLA changes are based on two surveys — the Living Pattern Survey that studies where the troops shop and what they buy, and the Retail Price Schedule that measures how much those items cost at those stores.
The allowance is designed to help offset costs of living abroad.
For more information or to calculate an overseas cost-of-living allowance, go to http://perdiem.hqda.pentagon.mil/ perdiem/ocform.html.
Stars and Stripes reporter Bryce S. Dubee contributed to this story.