The largest military pay raise in decades is coming in 2023 for active-duty troops as part of the annual defense authorization bill approved by Congress this month.
Under the plan, active-duty troops and drilling Guard and reserve members will receive a 4.6% pay raise, the largest bump in 20 years. The 2022 military pay raise sat at 2.7%.
That expected 2023 pay raise, which represents about $1,300 more over the course of the year for many junior troops and $2,500 for senior enlisted and junior officers, would take effect in January and is included in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. It was signed into law Dec. 23 by President Joe Biden.
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The 2023 military raise is joined by a more than 11% bump to Basic Allowance for Subsistence rates, an allotment received by active-duty troops who live outside the barracks. In 2023, the monthly BAS payment will be $311.68 for officers, up from $280.29, while enlisted members will see their BAS increase from $406.98 to $452.56.
The BAS boost will be reflected in paychecks in mid-January.
Still, the 2023 military pay boost does not match the pace of inflation, which sat at 7.7% in October, the last month for which data is available.
The NDAA does not include an additional inflation-specific bonus. A measure that extends qualification for the Pentagon's new Basic Needs Allowance (BNA) to troops with household income at 150% of the poverty line, up from 130%, was included.
2023 Military Veteran Pay Raise
The 4.6% active-duty and Guard and reserve pay raise joins an 8.7% cost of living adjustment (COLA) given to military retirees and veterans who receive disability checks from the Department of Veterans Affairs. That boost is the highest since 1981. Retirees and veterans saw a 5.9% increase in 2022 and 1.3% in 2021; the annual adjustment has averaged 1.9% for the last 10 years.
That increase means that, for 2023, retired military members and veterans who receive disability payments will see an $87 increase for each $1,000 of military retirement pension they receive each month. Survivor Benefit Plan payments will increase by the same amount.
Military retirees who entered military service on or after Aug. 1, 1986, and opted for the Career Status Bonus (CSB/Redux retirement plan) have any COLA increases reduced by 1%. That means they will see a smaller increase of $77 per $1,000 in 2023.