Some troops in Europe to see small COLA rise
April 16, 2008
U.S. troops stationed in most European countries got a modest increase in their cost-of-living allowances Wednesday, a reaction to the greenback’s continued decline.
The rise in COLA, announced Tuesday in a memo on the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee’s Web site, boosts the allowance by about 5 percent for troops in many areas.
Troops in Germany; Portugal; Rota, Spain; Brunssum, Netherlands; and Sigonella, Sicily; will not see COLA jumps, according to the memo.
In other locales, troops can expect anywhere from about $14.55 a month more for an E-1 living in the barracks at Lakenheath, England, to $95.16 more a month for an O-6 with three dependents and 22 years service in Naples, Italy.
For troops in the United Kingdom, the adjustment was the first COLA increase in two months. European countries that use the euro — including Germany and Portugal — saw allowances jump two weeks ago.
Rates for a similar allowance — known as post allowance — given to some civilian employees didn’t change.
Meanwhile, thousands of nonappropriated fund employees working for the Air Force, Navy and Marines were still awaiting word Tuesday on when they’d start to get the allowance.
Most full-time American NAF employees who were hired at overseas locations have not been receiving the allowance, though they should have, and will, according to the Defense Department.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service already announced plans to start paying the allowance to qualifying employees by Saturday. The Navy Exchange Service Command; Commander, Navy Installations Command; Air Force Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and the U.S. Marine Corps haven’t discussed their plans.
Air Force, Navy and Marine officials on Tuesday referred queries about post allowance payments to the Defense Department. A department spokesman familiar with the issue said he wasn’t aware if any employers other than AAFES had announced when they’d start making post allowance payments.