Large COLA jump in Italy, Germany
The cost-of-living allowance given to U.S. troops in Germany and Italy went up as much as $138 a month Friday, bringing needed relief to servicemembers whose dollar-filled wallets have been battered by the European economy.
In Germany, the COLA increase, announced Thursday on the Defense Department’s Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee’s Web site, was triggered solely by the high cost of the euro.
The high euro rate acted together with rising prices to produce an increase in troops’ COLA in Italy.
It’s a different story in the United Kingdom where COLA rates, adjusted upward in mid-October, stayed flat.
Troops in Germany and Italy will notice the latest adjustments in their end-of-month pay.
Individual COLA allowances vary according to a member’s rank, years in service and number of dependents, among other factors.
In Germany, where COLA was last adjusted at the beginning of August, an E-6 with six years’ service living off base with two dependents will see his allowance increase from about $24.53 a day to about $27.60 a day — an increase of $92 per month — in most parts of the country. Rates are a bit higher in Garmisch and a handful of other locations.
COLA rates increased even more dramatically in Italy, where changes to the allowance in mid-September left less money in troops’ pockets in most areas, including Naples and Vicenza.
In Naples, an E-6 with six years’ service and two dependents living off base will see his supplement rise from $32.20 a day to $36.80 a day — an increase of $138 per month. In Vicenza, that same troop’s COLA is up from about $24.53 a day to $29.13 a day — also an increase of $138 per month.
At Aviano Air Base, the same troop’s COLA supplement has gone from $27.60 a day to about $30.67 a day — an increase of $92 a month.
For the last two weeks of November, an E-6 living off base with two dependents will get $414 in Kaiserslautern, Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, Bamberg and Baumholder, Germany; $552 in Naples; $460 in Aviano; $437 in Vicenza; and $460 in Lakenheath, England, according to the Per Diem committee Web site.
To compute your own COLA, visit: http://perdiem.hqda.pentagon.mil/perdiem/ocform.html.
The cost-of-living allowance given to civilian workers living in Europe — known as post allowance — did not change this week.