As a service member, you’ve earned financial benefits like competitive pay and a compensation package to help protect your future. Take advantage of military benefits to shore up your personal finances – for both the short term and long term.
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Basic pay is the fundamental component of military pay. All members receive basic pay, and typically, it is the largest component of a service member’s pay. A member’s grade (usually the same as rank) and years of service determine the amount of basic pay received.
Allowances are the second-most-important element of military pay. Allowances are moneys provided for specific needs, such as food or housing. Monetary allowances are provided when the government does not provide for a specific need. For example, the quantity of government housing is not sufficient to house all military members and their families, so those who are not able to live in government housing receive allowances to assist them in obtaining commercial housing. Those who live in government housing do not receive full housing allowances.
The most common allowances are basic allowance for subsistence and basic allowance for housing. A majority of the force receives both of these allowances and, in many cases, BAS and BAH are a significant portion of the member’s total pay.
Most allowances are not taxable, which is an additional benefit of military pay.
Special and incentive pays provide the services with flexible additional pays that can be used to address specific manning needs and other force management issues that cannot be efficiently addressed through basic pay increases.
Unlike basic pay and allowances, which vary by pay grade and years of service, S&I pays can be used to improve recruiting and retention by increasing compensation in key occupation specialties or critical skill areas. These pays are also used to compensate for onerous or hazardous duty assignments or conditions. In addition, S&I pays can be used to provide incentives for service members to develop certain skills that are important to national security objectives.
The Department of Defense Savings Deposit Program was established to provide service members serving in designated combat zones the opportunity to build their financial savings.
Saving is easier when you have a simple retirement strategy. The Thrift Saving Plan saves a percentage of your pay like the 401(k) plans offered by many private employers.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides the full cost of in-state tuition and fees at public colleges covered for up to four academic years for eligible service members, or contributions toward an education at private colleges.
Contacting Military OneSource can put you on the path to making the most of your financial benefits. Call 800-342-9647 anytime. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.