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U.S. government civilians in areas of Japan and South Korea will see a cut in post allowance in their next paycheck, according to figures released Sunday by the State Department’s Office of Allowances.

Post allowances for workers in Misawa, Zama, Yokota, Sasebo and Okinawa dropped from 35 percent to 30 percent of expendable income, which is considered pay left over after housing, savings and health care costs, the office reported.

The allowances dropped from 20 percent to 15 percent in Seoul, Osan, Uijongbu and Daegu.

The extra money supplements paychecks and is meant to offset the cost of living overseas.

Changes in allowances are tied to national exchange rates and civilian buying habits and usually level exchange rate advantages and disadvantages for federal employees, who are paid in dollars.

Civilian allowances are updated biweekly by the State Department.

The dollar amount increase varies for each U.S. civilian employee depending on salary, location and family size.

For example, single civilian workers living in Yokota with a base salary of $32,000 per year will see their annual post allowance fall from $5,670 to $4,860.

Allowances tables can be found at the State Department Web site,

Every four years, the State Department surveys civilian workers on their habits of spending on items such as food, housekeeping, home furnishings and equipment, clothes, transportation, health care, entertainment, books and magazines, alcohol and tobacco.

That data is compared to the cost of living in Washington, D.C., and overseas civilian workers are compensated to make their living standard comparable to that of a person with a similar salary and family size in the U.S. capital.

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