Military retirees, disabled vets can expect a big pay bump soon

Matt Saintsing
October 11, 2018 - 3:58 pm

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Military retirees and veterans receiving disability paychecks through the VA can expect to see a nearly three percent pay bump, the most significant increase in six years. 

Beginning December, the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2019 will be 2.8 percent, the largest rise since 2012. 

That’s about $369 more per month for those sitting at the top of military retirement pay. 

The increases for VA compensation and military retirement pay are adjusted annually for inflation. 

Military Retirees

Retirees who signed up on or after Aug. 1, 1986 and opted in for the Career Status Bonus (CBS/Redux retirement plan) will see an increase in 2019 of just under 2 percent, which translates to $84 more for an E-7 who served 20 years, or $162 for an O-5 with the same time in service. 

VA Disability

If you’re rated at 100 percent through the VA, you can expect to see an $83 increase. Veterans on the other end—with a 10 percent rating—will see their payments go up $4. 

The annual COLA increase comes from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the cost of goods and other expenses. The way it works is if the CPI increases the previous year, so does the COLA. 

Last year, the COLA increase was just 2 percent, while in 2017 benefactors saw a paltry 0.3 percent rise.

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