President Donald Trump has proposed a military pay raise in 2020 of 3.1%.  This is the largest increase in nearly a decade.

It was expected that the increase would be 3.1% due to federal economic indicators that form the basis for calculating the raise for military pay.

Military Pay Raise Would Be Increase From 2019

The White House proposed 2020 military pay raise of 3.1% would be an increase of 0.5 percentage points over the 2.6% raise received in 2019.  That’s a nearly 20% increase from 2019.

Military Pay Raises Since 2013

  • 2013: 1.7%
  • 2014: 1.0%
  • 2015: 1.0%
  • 2016: 1.3%
  • 2017: 2.1%
  • 2018: 2.4%
  • 2019: 2.6%
  • 2020: 3.1% (proposed by White House)

On Tuesday March 12th, 2019, we will see the first analysis of what the DOD and the White House will recommend for 2020, with the release of the Pentagon’s overall budget request for fiscal 2020 Monday.

How is the Military Pay Raise Determined?

The main guideline for determining military pay raises comes from the quarterly report of the US Employment Cost Index (ECI). This is put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The ECI formula is usually used as a guideline to start the debate on military compensation between the White House and Congress.

What Happens Next?

Congress isn’t expected to take action on military pay rates until the approval of the National Defense Authorization Act that will happen later this year, before the start of the next fiscal year on October 1st.

Because the Democrats have taken control of the House, the debate could be a bit more heated. Going back a few years, rates usually have changed year by year, with the lowest amount being 1.0% in 2014 and 2015 and the highest being 3.9% in 2009. To read more, go here.

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