USFK civilians' post allowance to double, starting next month
February 26, 2004
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Post allowance — money given by the State Department to offset foreign living costs — will double for civilians starting next month.
The rate will go from 5 percent to 10 percent of a person’s spendable income. That money is defined as the percentage a person spends off base for goods and services on the South Korean economy.
Fluctuations in the exchange rate and the decline of the dollar against the won can trigger an increase in post allowance. The official military rate Feb. 20 was 1,133 won per dollar. The State Department’s Office of Allowances uses a three-day average of exchange rates from military banks when recalculating post allowance.
Post allowance has bounced around the last five months. The rate went from 5 percent to 10 percent in October but dropped back to that level just a month later where it stayed until the latest change.
The amount of post allowance a civilian receives depends on their grade and number of dependents. Only U.S. government civilians are eligible.
A civilian with no dependents making from $42,000 to $44,999 would get $1,980 yearly under the new figure. Before, that person would have gotten $990 annually.
Employees can calculate how much their post allowance will be at http://www.state.gov/m/a/als/1736.htm.
Servicemembers receive a cost-of-living adjustment determined by the Defense Department’s Per Diem Committee. U.S. Forces Korea recently conducted a price survey in a bid to increase the amount of COLA servicemembers get here.
A post allowance is given to make up the difference between the cost of goods and services in Washington, D.C., and a foreign post. If the cost of goods and services in a foreign area is 3 percent higher than Washington, a post allowance in authorized.