SEOUL — Post allowance for Defense Department civilian workers throughout South Korea will increase from 10 percent to 15 percent of base salary starting in Wednesday’s paychecks, according to military officials.

Post allowance is meant to help government workers living abroad have the same buying power they would in the United States. The formula is based on “spendable income,” or what a person typically spends on goods off-base.

The change would mean almost $1,000 extra a year for a civilian employee making from $42,000 to $44,999 annually. Instead of getting $1,980 a year in post allowance, that worker would get $2,970 annually, according to the State Department’s Web site.

The change is to compensate for the shrinking purchasing power of the ailing dollar. On Monday, 1,000 won was worth 97 cents, according to commercial exchange rates.

Military rates were worse, with 1,000 won worth 99 cents.

In November 2000, the exchange rate hovered around 1,200 won for every dollar, meaning it took only 83 cents to buy a thousand-won note.

Financial experts have said they expect the dollar to fall below the 1,000-won mark early this year.

To calculate specific increases, go to

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now