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SomeRandomGuy
05-29-2015, 02:19 PM
A friend posted this article on FaceBook regarding dual-service housing allowances. Apparantly, the Senate Armed Services Committee inserted language into the 2016 Defense Authorization Bill to change mil-to-mil BAH.

Here is a quick quote from the article:


The Senate Armed Services Committee has inserted language in its version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that takes a different view. It seeks to end what some lawmakers perceive as an income windfall for dual-service couples by linking BAH payments to what these families actually pay to rent housing at new and future assignments.

If the full Senate and, later this summer, the full House were to agree to this change, it would be a dramatic compensation cut for dual-service families whose total numbers have grown over the last several years with military recognition of gay and lesbian marital status.

Under current law, a dual service couple with no children assigned to the same locale can each draw BAH at a lower “without dependents” rate. If the couples have a child or children, the more senior ranking member can draw BAH at a higher “with dependents” rate while the other member continues to draw BAH at the lower “without” rate.

The Senate bill, in both circumstances, would allow only the higher-ranking member in dual-service marriage to draw any BAH, though at the higher with-dependents rate. The other member would be ineligible for BAH.

To prevent couples from circumventing this proposed change in law by living in separate residences while assigned to the same area, the Senate committee would direct that the new BAH limit apply to couples “who are assigned within normal commuting distance from each other.”


Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2015/05/dual-service-couples-could-see-housing-allowances-slashed/#ixzz3bXKrsRvO
MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com


As a finance person, this immediately struck me as a pretty terrible idea and not even for the reason you might be thinking. The unintended consequences of this change would be massive. As stated in the article, the law will "prevent couples from circumventing this proposed change in law by living in separate residences while assigned to the same area, the Senate committee would direct that the new BAH limit apply to couples “who are assigned within normal commuting distance from each other.”

Based on the above, if a couple is legally married only the higher ranking member will receive BAH. What happens when a couple decides to get divorced? Is the lower ranking member expected to live without BAH for however long the divorce takes? That could be years. If not, what documentation will be used to restart BAH?

Let's say a couple decides to split up. The husband is lower ranking and he moves out and gets his own apartment. Does he have to file for divorce first before finance can restart the BAH? What if after six months the couple decides not to get divorced? Does finance collect back the BAH? This sounds like a giant mess and finance is going to spend an insane amount of time trying to figure out living everyone's marital situation.

If the above wasn't bad enough, what about same sex couples? They want equal treatment right? Does this mean that if a same sex couple declares their selves married one of them will also lose their BAH? That seems like an incentive for same sex couples to pretend they aren't married which is ironically the exact opposite of how it used to be.

What say you guys?

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 02:22 PM
Everybody military member should get single rate...there shouldn't be a bonus for having kids...

Bos Mutus
05-29-2015, 02:30 PM
A friend posted this article on FaceBook regarding dual-service housing allowances. Apparantly, the Senate Armed Services Committee inserted language into the 2016 Defense Authorization Bill to change mil-to-mil BAH.

Here is a quick quote from the article:

As a finance person, this immediately struck me as a pretty terrible idea and not even for the reason you might be thinking. The unintended consequences of this change would be massive. As stated in the article, the law will "prevent couples from circumventing this proposed change in law by living in separate residences while assigned to the same area, the Senate committee would direct that the new BAH limit apply to couples “who are assigned within normal commuting distance from each other.”

Based on the above, if a couple is legally married only the higher ranking member will receive BAH. What happens when a couple decides to get divorced? Is the lower ranking member expected to live without BAH for however long the divorce takes? That could be years. If not, what documentation will be used to restart BAH?

Let's say a couple decides to split up. The husband is lower ranking and he moves out and gets his own apartment. Does he have to file for divorce first before finance can restart the BAH? What if after six months the couple decides not to get divorced? Does finance collect back the BAH? This sounds like a giant mess and finance is going to spend an insane amount of time trying to figure out living everyone's marital situation.

If the above wasn't bad enough, what about same sex couples? They want equal treatment right? Does this mean that if a same sex couple declares their selves married one of them will also lose their BAH? That seems like an incentive for same sex couples to pretend they aren't married which is ironically the exact opposite of how it used to be.

What say you guys?

Doesn't sound like a huge mess for finance really...these are pretty easy to overcome with a set of rules.

Obviously, same-sex married couples are treated exactly like opposite-sex married couples.

There would be a financial incentive to not get legally married, I suppose. I'm okay with that...it's almost better than the alternative where we provide financial and living condition incentive (get out of the dorms) for young kids to get married, probably before they should.

That said...I think this is pretty unfair though. Each member serves in the their own right and are entitled to the compensation for doing so. What if a military member marries a highly paid civiian? Should he/she take a pay cut because that isn't fair? Makes no sense. A person is in the service, draws compensation for it, end of story.

I don't have any disagreement with sandsjames idea though...one flat rate BAH for everyone, single or married or kids.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-29-2015, 02:50 PM
I think everyone should have to live in a Quonset hut made from corrugated tin like Gomer Pyle did.

Over 30 years old, still a PFC, and living in a shitty open bay barracks.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-29-2015, 02:58 PM
This wrongly discriminates against individual military members. Each member is entitled to BAH, regardless of who they choose to marry. If this passes, expect the next target to be mil-to-mil household goods entitlements and perhaps even retirement. I can hear it now, "why pay both mil members retirement when most other couples only enjoy one paycheck."

Rainmaker
05-29-2015, 03:28 PM
I think everyone should have to live in a Quonset hut made from corrugated tin like Gomer Pyle did.

Over 30 years old, still a PFC, and living in a shitty open bay barracks.

This is the future of the military. The next major war will be fought with low paid draftees and highly paid support contractors.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 03:40 PM
Option 2: Build a whole lot of base housing and force occupancy there prior to authorizing BAH.

It sounds like a dick move, but BAH is an entitlement to cover housing and if housing is provided then Mil-Mil or Mil-Civ couples would still be provided housing commensurate with their rank and family size.

I do like sandsjames idea of one flat rate BAH rate for everyone as well, whether it would vary by location or what not ... dunno. Basic pay could also be increased an eliminate BAH, BAS / COMRATS etc. altogether ...

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-29-2015, 04:01 PM
Option 2: Build a whole lot of base housing and force occupancy there prior to authorizing BAH.

It sounds like a dick move, but BAH is an entitlement to cover housing and if housing is provided then Mil-Mil or Mil-Civ couples would still be provided housing commensurate with their rank and family size.

I do like sandsjames idea of one flat rate BAH rate for everyone as well, whether it would vary by location or what not ... dunno. Basic pay could also be increased an eliminate BAH, BAS / COMRATS etc. altogether ...

Base housing is being privatized, with full BAH expected as payment. Second, FORCING people to live on base seems fair? Most bases are in ghettos, and the reason many choose not to live on base is so their children aren't forced to attend ghetto schools. Eff them though, right?

Rusty Jones
05-29-2015, 04:07 PM
Basic pay could also be increased an eliminate BAH, BAS / COMRATS etc. altogether ...

They won't do that, because it would increase retired pay.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 04:14 PM
Base housing is being privatized, with full BAH expected as payment. Second, FORCING people to live on base seems fair? Most bases are in ghettos, and the reason many choose not to live on base is so their children aren't forced to attend ghetto schools. Eff them though, right?

Not saying it is fair, or even that I think that is something that should be done ... just saying there are options ... some of which are less desirable than the current proposal.

As an aside, if Mil-Mil live in base housing, does the company get both BAH allowances?

Rusty Jones
05-29-2015, 04:14 PM
In some ways, I don't mind this. It's just my little conspiracy theory, but I don't think that this is a cost-saving measure. I think they're trying to discourage mil-to-mil marriages. Probably for at least one of the following two reasons:

1. Mil-to-mil are required to have a family care plan for a reason. I've seen alot of good people lost due to not being able to maintain their family care plan. This could help fix that.

2. To reduce female attrition, which will result in more women in the senior ranks. Let's face it... the majority of married women in the military are married to men in the military. It's rare to find one married to a civilian man. In more cases than not, when a woman in the military marries a man in the military, she gets out and her husband stays in. Well, if a woman doesn't marry a man in the military... she's probably more likely to stay in.

Just my thoughts.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 04:15 PM
They won't do that, because it would increase retired pay.

That is exactly why it won't happen and why many entitlements, allowances etc. are in addition to base pay.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 04:21 PM
In some ways, I don't mind this. It's just my little conspiracy theory, but I don't think that this is a cost-saving measure. I think they're trying to discourage mil-to-mil marriages. Probably for at least one of the following two reasons:

1. Mil-to-mil are required to have a family care plan for a reason. I've seen alot of good people lost due to not being able to maintain their family care plan. This could help fix that.

2. To reduce female attrition, which will result in more women in the senior ranks. Let's face it... the majority of married women in the military are married to men in the military. It's rare to find one married to a civilian man. In more cases than not, when a woman in the military marries a man in the military, she gets out and her husband stays in. Well, if a woman doesn't marry a man in the military... she's probably more likely to stay in.

Just my thoughts.

I don't think that is really the intent.

I actually think this would inadvertently increase female attrition for Mil-Mil situations.

In most Mil-Mil situations I have seen, as the couple gets more senior one of them ends up taking the short end of the stick so that they can:

-geolocate
-care for children
-one can get a key assignment etc.

I see many junior & mid career (enlisted & officer) Mil-Mil couples, as they get more senior it just gets hard due to the requirements of the job (in my designator we are often 1 of 1 at a command -- the only one of our kind there and getting two of us to the same place at the E8 or E9 ... O5 or O6 levels is hard or impossible.) What I have seen is usually one (the one with the least chance of promotion) retires at the first opportunity; more often than not that has been the female -- probably related to the traditional 'child-rearing' role they fill as mothers.

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 04:25 PM
Also BAH should be the same for every rank. That's how it is for BAS (enlisted). If higher ranks want a bigger house then it comes out of their pay...that's one of the benefits of getting paid more.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 04:26 PM
Buried a little further down:


Other language in the Senate bill would curb BAH for service members who reside together to save on housing costs. Service members in pay grade E-4 and higher who live together would see their BAH capped at 75 percent of “their otherwise prevailing rate” for their pay grade or at the E-4 “without dependents” rate, whichever is greater.

Bos Mutus
05-29-2015, 04:28 PM
In some ways, I don't mind this. It's just my little conspiracy theory, but I don't think that this is a cost-saving measure. I think they're trying to discourage mil-to-mil marriages. Probably for at least one of the following two reasons:

1. Mil-to-mil are required to have a family care plan for a reason. I've seen alot of good people lost due to not being able to maintain their family care plan. This could help fix that.

2. To reduce female attrition, which will result in more women in the senior ranks. Let's face it... the majority of married women in the military are married to men in the military. It's rare to find one married to a civilian man. In more cases than not, when a woman in the military marries a man in the military, she gets out and her husband stays in. Well, if a woman doesn't marry a man in the military... she's probably more likely to stay in.

Just my thoughts.

Interesting theory...but, in my experience military females married to military are the most likely to stay in.

Military females married to civilians, I've seen, are the most likely to get out...maybe that's why they are a rare find.

There is just something about the man being the primary bread winner...which is tough to do if following a military member from assignment to assignment.

I would agree that if one gets out, it's usually the female, but seems like most of the time both stay in (or both get out)...as long as one is already in, the other might as well stay.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 04:29 PM
Also BAH should be the same for every rank. That's how it is for BAS (enlisted). If higher ranks want a bigger house then it comes out of their pay...that's one of the benefits of getting paid more.

Yes and no ... since basic pay won't go up, I don't think leveling BAH across the board is a good idea.

what the law on it says:

Title 37 US Code 403

The amount of the basic allowance for housing for a member will vary according to the pay grade in which the member is assigned or distributed for basic pay purposes, the dependency status of the member, and the geographic location of the member.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-29-2015, 04:31 PM
In some ways, I don't mind this. It's just my little conspiracy theory, but I don't think that this is a cost-saving measure. I think they're trying to discourage mil-to-mil marriages. Probably for at least one of the following two reasons:

1. Mil-to-mil are required to have a family care plan for a reason. I've seen alot of good people lost due to not being able to maintain their family care plan. This could help fix that.

2. To reduce female attrition, which will result in more women in the senior ranks. Let's face it... the majority of married women in the military are married to men in the military. It's rare to find one married to a civilian man. In more cases than not, when a woman in the military marries a man in the military, she gets out and her husband stays in. Well, if a woman doesn't marry a man in the military... she's probably more likely to stay in.

Just my thoughts.

As a (I'm assuming) pro-Hillary kind of guy, you should be staunchly opposed to this measure since it hurts pay equality between men and women. Think about it, most mil-to-mil marriages involve a younger, lower ranking female married to an older, higher ranking man. For EQUALITY's sake, is it really fair to pay women LESS as a result of losing their BAH to the higher ranking, male spouse?

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 04:33 PM
Yes and no ... since basic pay won't go up, I don't think leveling BAH across the board is a good idea.

what the law on it says:

Title 37 US Code 403

The amount of the basic allowance for housing for a member will vary according to the pay grade in which the member is assigned or distributed for basic pay purposes, the dependency status of the member, and the geographic location of the member.

Housing allowance should be rated for the average cost of living in the area...if you want to go above average than it's out of pocket...the military is providing you plenty to live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood...anything above and beyond should be on you.

Do you also think you should get more money for food because you've earned the right to real shrimp instead of imitation shrimp?

Rusty Jones
05-29-2015, 04:33 PM
The reason that I really can't buy into this being a cost saving measure is I think that people who would have married someone in the military will just simply marry civilians. And now they'll all get married BAH.

When I think about this from the perspective of a single service member who is looking for someone to settle down with... I know that if I look for someone in the military that, eventually, we're gonna have to have that talk. One of us is gonna have to take a pay cut.

I think that more people will just choose to not deal with that at all, and simply look to the civilian population to find their soul mates.

The result? If you look at two service members who would have married each other, you would have only had to have given married BAH to one and single BAH to other. But now that they married civilians instead, they're both getting married BAH.

So I expect the costs to actually go up.

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 04:35 PM
As a (I'm assuming) pro-Hillary kind of guy, you should be staunchly opposed to this measure since it hurts pay equality between men and women. Think about it, most mil-to-mil marriages involve a younger, lower ranking female married to an older, higher ranking man. For EQUALITY's sake, is it really fair to pay women LESS as a result of losing their BAH to the higher ranking, male spouse?

The only way to make it "fair" is for the government to stay out of the marriage business and pay everyone as individuals.

They aren't going to take money away from 2 of the 3 single guys sharing an apartment.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 04:44 PM
Housing allowance should be rated for the average cost of living in the area...if you want to go above average than it's out of pocket...the military is providing you plenty to live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood...anything above and beyond should be on you.

Do you also think you should get more money for food because you've earned the right to real shrimp instead of imitation shrimp?

I think folks should have suitable housing. I think the guy with 15, 20, 25 or so years experience & in charge of 2,000 people should be able to afford to live in a nicer house than a 19 year old who is in charge of no one. The guy in the nice house didn't get that house as soon as he joined the organization.

How our employer (the government) wants to figure out how to facilitate that is really up to them. Right now they use the way the law is written to provide more allowance for housing for the more senior guy as part of the overall compensation package.

I would be in favor of your proposal if Basic Pay was altered, but that won't happen because it would increase the mandatory spending required to support the DoD pension fund.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 04:45 PM
The only way to make it "fair" is for the government to stay out of the marriage business and pay everyone as individuals.

They aren't going to take money away from 2 of the 3 single guys sharing an apartment.

Actually, that is part of the proposal, if the 2 or 3 single guys are DoD anyway.

Rusty Jones
05-29-2015, 04:47 PM
Actually, that is part of the proposal, if the 2 or 3 single guys are DoD anyway.

It sounds like they want to go back to the old BAQ/VHA. No money left over to cover utilities.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-29-2015, 04:51 PM
Housing allowance should be rated for the average cost of living in the area...if you want to go above average than it's out of pocket...the military is providing you plenty to live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood...anything above and beyond should be on you.

Do you also think you should get more money for food because you've earned the right to real shrimp instead of imitation shrimp?

Officers get better quarters and rations than you, TSgt!

Stop all that insubordinate commie talk about equality, ASAP! I'd like nothing better than a chance to bust your ass down to A1C and ship you off to the Aleutian Island to scrub latrines.

Permanent Latrine Orderly (PLO) would be your duty title, and you could use your rustic wit to rig up a foot pedal to make the latrine seats raise when an officer comes to inspect.

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 05:06 PM
I think folks should have suitable housing. I think the guy with 15, 20, 25 or so years experience & in charge of 2,000 people should be able to afford to live in a nicer house than a 19 year old who is in charge of no one. The guy in the nice house didn't get that house as soon as he joined the organization. He does have the opportunity. He gets paid a lot more than the E4. So what about the food? Should you get more than an E4 for food?


I would be in favor of your proposal if Basic Pay was altered, but that won't happen because it would increase the mandatory spending required to support the DoD pension fund.

So you aren't happy with the basic pay scale as far as the difference between ranks goes?

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 05:07 PM
Actually, that is part of the proposal, if the 2 or 3 single guys are DoD anyway.

That's a stupid proposal. I don't have an intelligent argument for it...just that it's stupid.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 05:13 PM
He does have the opportunity. He gets paid a lot more than the E4. So what about the food? Should you get more than an E4 for food?

Actually, as an O4 I get less for food than an E4.


So you aren't happy with the basic pay scale as far as the difference between ranks goes?

I am happy with the basic pay scale and the overall compensation package. What I am saying is if we were level BAH across all ranks I would hope that basic pay would be slightly altered.

Rusty Jones
05-29-2015, 05:13 PM
So you aren't happy with the basic pay scale as far as the difference between ranks goes?

I see what you're saying but, it's like I said before, it's a pay difference that's thrown onto the BAH instead of the base pay, in order to keep retired pay low.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 05:14 PM
That's a stupid proposal. I don't have an intelligent argument for it...just that it's stupid.

Concur ...

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-29-2015, 05:14 PM
Officers get better quarters and rations than you, TSgt!

Officers have always been paid less in BAS(rations).

http://militarybenefits.info/2015-bas-basic-allowance-for-subsistence-rates/

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 05:21 PM
Actually, as an O4 I get less for food than an E4. I was talking more about the enlisted side but you are absolutely right...so do they expect you to eat worse than an E2? Nope...they expect you to make it up with the extra pay.




I am happy with the basic pay scale and the overall compensation package. What I am saying is if we were level BAH across all ranks I would hope that basic pay would be slightly altered.I don't understand your reasoning on this. You get paid a lot more money...if you want the bigger house, the nicer neighborhood, then it should come out of pocket. Orrrrr....make basic pay the same for everyone and give more allowances for everyone. Not sure why it needs to be both.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 05:30 PM
I don't understand your reasoning on this. You get paid a lot more money...if you want the bigger house, the nicer neighborhood, then it should come out of pocket. Orrrrr....make basic pay the same for everyone and give more allowances for everyone. Not sure why it needs to be both.

Because it is an overall compensation package, entitlements & allowances offset the basic pay scale.

As I said, I think folks should be fairly compensated, be able to afford suitable housing for themselves etc. I also think some things are commensurate with rank.

Yes, I make more base pay than an E4 ... if our base pay was the same I would expect my allowances would reflect my:

-years of experience
-years of service
-level of responsibility

If BAH was the same I would like to see an update to the base pay across all ranks to account for those things with regard to housing (as a part of that same overall package.)

As it is, the DoD takes a mixed approach (higher base pay and different housing allowances. As I said, I am kind of indifferent in HOW they do it, but detect some officer / enlisted hate which is bound to happen when discussing pay & allowances.

Rusty Jones
05-29-2015, 05:30 PM
Always thought that the reasoning for officers getting less BAS is because all officers always draw it - whether married, single, in the barracks, off base, or even deployed - and always have to pay for their meals. Even when deployed. Whereas, enlisted who are provided ration-in-kind don't need the money. Burawski is probably the man to clarify this. As a PS, I rarely dabbled in officer stuff, but that's Burawski's specialty as a YN.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-29-2015, 05:31 PM
Officers have always been paid less in BAS(rations).

http://militarybenefits.info/2015-bas-basic-allowance-for-subsistence-rates/

Shhh!

Don't spoil my fun with a bunch of pesky facts.

I'm trying to conjure up images in SJ's mind of old war movies where the officers are gathered in the officer's mess having gormet meals of terrapin and pheasant.

Not to mention an after dinner snifter of brandy and big old cigar.

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 05:33 PM
Because it is an overall compensation package, entitlements & allowances offset the basic pay scale.

As I said, I think folks should be fairly compensated, be able to afford suitable housing for themselves etc. I also think some things are commensurate with rank.

Yes, I make more base pay than an E4 ... if our base pay was the same I would expect my allowances would reflect my:

-years of experience
-years of service
-level of responsibility

As it is, the DoD takes a mixed approach (higher base pay and different housing allowances. As I said, I am kind of indifferent in HOW they do it, but detect some officer / enlisted hate which is bound to happen when discussing pay & allowances.

Dude, I'm not even talking officer/enlisted. I was talking specifically about enlisted, but it carries over to Os and Es.

What I do notice, however, is that it's easy to see why we do have difficulty saving any noticeable amount of money in the military. It's because it's the highest paid people who are making the decisions about where the money gets cut.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 05:40 PM
Dude, I'm not even talking officer/enlisted. I was talking specifically about enlisted, but it carries over to Os and Es.

K, keeping it just with E's, I think the Battalion SgtMaj with 20+ years of experience, who is in charge of 1,800-2,000 people should be compensated with a larger overall compensation package than the E4 who is in charge of 3-5 people.


What I do notice, however, is that it's easy to see why we do have difficulty saving any noticeable amount of money in the military. It's because it's the highest paid people who are making the decisions about where the money gets cut.

On that, any "noticeable amount" of savings isn't going to be made by adjusting BAH, whether for an O10 or an E1 ...

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 05:43 PM
K, keeping it just with E's, I think the Battalion SgtMaj with 20+ years of experience, who is in charge of 1,800-2,000 people should be compensated with a larger overall compensation package than the E4 who is in charge of 3-5 people. He is compensated much, MUCH better than an E4...without the housing. Shall we add up their retirement, their basic pay, the amount of medical care they've received? Should I post a pay scale?




On that, any "noticeable amount" of savings isn't going to be made by adjusting BAH, whether for an O10 or an E1 ...Of course not...so why bother? Glad to see you're a firm supporter of the 1%ers, as long as you're part of that group.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 05:47 PM
He is compensated much, MUCH better than an E4...without the housing. Shall we add up their retirement, their basic pay, the amount of medical care they've received? Should I post a pay scale?

K, I don't know a better way to say it ... an overall compensation package that includes pay, housing etc.

I don't think the E9 get's better medical care, probably has gotten more of it since he has been in longer.


Of course not...so why bother? Glad to see you're a firm supporter of the 1%ers, as long as you're part of that group.

Or is this more about that you retired as an E6?

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 05:49 PM
O4 over 12 makes approximately $7k a month. E4@6 years makes $2400/month. That's around $50k a year...definitely not compensated any better through basic pay.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 05:51 PM
O4 over 12 makes approximately $7k a month. E4@6 years makes $2400/month. That's around $50k a year...definitely not compensated any better through basic pay.

I am not saying that the E4 is compensated better, but appropriately for the level of experience, time of service and responsibility.

I am sure there are E4's out there who exercise more responsibility than some O4's, but in general ... hell no.

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 05:54 PM
I am not saying that the E4 is compensated better, but appropriately for the level of experience, time of service and responsibility.

I am sure there are E4's out there who exercise more responsibility than some O4's, but in general ... hell no.

Never said they have more responsibility. Would never make that claim. That's why officer get compensated with a much larger basic pay.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 05:56 PM
Never said they have more responsibility. Would never make that claim. That's why officer get compensated with a much larger basic pay.

And basic pay is part of the overall compensation package.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-29-2015, 06:11 PM
I see what you're saying but, it's like I said before, it's a pay difference that's thrown onto the BAH instead of the base pay, in order to keep retired pay low.

There is also a significant tax advantage to having compensation in the form of rations, rather than it all coming from base pay.

Rations are nontaxable.

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 06:11 PM
And basic pay is part of the overall compensation package.

Currently, yes, it is. That's why we are discussing it as a change. Right now tax deductions and legal off shore bank accounts are part of the legal tax system. That doesn't mean that changes won't benefit us.

Rainmaker
05-29-2015, 06:15 PM
They won't do that, because it would increase retired pay.

True. But, that will soon be OBE, since they're moving to get rid of a true pension. Because, it's not fair that someone who serves 4 years gets nothing and someone who serves 20 gets 50%.

With the everybody gets a trophy mentality crowd, all troops will be entitled to a shitty 401K, that loses half it's value every 7-10 years and you can't cash it out until you're 59 1/2 without losing most of it to a tax penalty for early withdrawl.

But, DoD will continue to bankroll private sector company pension plans funded with never ending Supplemental GWOT Emergency Dollars needed until the perpetual war for perpetual peace ends or Jesus Christ returns to rule for a 1000 years, whichever comes first.

Rainmaker
05-29-2015, 06:23 PM
That doesn't mean that changes won't benefit us.

Change may be inevitable but that does not make it a universally good thing. Death is change also.

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 06:25 PM
Change may be inevitable but that does not make it a universally good thing. Death is change also.Good changes are good.

Rusty Jones
05-29-2015, 06:31 PM
True. But, that will soon be OBE, since they're moving to get rid of a true pension. Because, it's not fair that someone who serves 4 years gets nothing and someone who serves 20 gets 50%.

With the everybody gets a trophy mentality crowd, all troops will be entitled to a shitty 401K, that loses half it's value every 7-10 years and you can't cash it out until you're 59 1/2 without losing most of it to a tax penalty for early withdrawl.

But, DoD will continue to bankroll private sector company pension plans funded with never ending Supplemental GWOT Emergency Dollars needed until the perpetual war for perpetual peace ends or Jesus Christ returns to rule for a 1000 years, whichever comes first.

From what I've seen, the only difference is that you HAVE to take the REDUX; and it will be at 12 years instead of 15. And you get matching TSP up to 5%, like federal civilians. If anything, that's probably better.

The only problem, however, is that the reserve components might have a bit of a recruiting problem if everyone who does four years active duty is going to get "something" when they turn 60. That's supposed to be the whole point of going into the reserves in the first place. Now they don't have to.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 06:41 PM
Currently, yes, it is. That's why we are discussing it as a change. Right now tax deductions and legal off shore bank accounts are part of the legal tax system. That doesn't mean that changes won't benefit us.

I am not saying I am against changing it (the compensation package) but I do think the overall take home for folks in the military is just about right.

You could entirely eliminate BAH and boost basic pay and tell everyone to just live as you want & can afford (again, that changes retirement pensions ... so is a no go.) What I am saying is if you want to cut BAH then I think base pay should increase, since you are effecting the overall bottom line/take home.

I am very well compensated for what I do & I think most E3's are very well compensated for what they do. Overall I think however you calculate the compensation we get, we have a very ... VERY generous compensation package.

While we are not a regular company, we have a much more competitive pay system for the 18-year old with a high school diploma or GED with no practical experience, no skills, no certifications etc. While the avg E1 base pay is $18,500 (approx) their total compensation package is closer to $30,000 when you add in housing (yeah ... sometimes it is a shared barracks room but ... ), medical, BAS, clothing allowances etc. They will promote to E2 and possibly E3 before the end of their first year of service; we also get 30 days of paid vacation upon joining, much better than most companies that I have ever heard of. We pay people, house them, feed them, provide them all their work clothes etc, while we train them to do the job we want them to do ... overall ... a pretty good deal when seeing that most places won't hire without some kind of a skill and would tell you to go get some training then come back and apply. The downside of the whole thing is we may send them off to some foreign land to kill folks and possibly die themselves.

Progressively over time the compensation gets better, the work transitions from the equivalent of blue collar to white collar etc. the levels of responsibility etc. grow and the compensation package as a whole reflects that. As much as an E9 or 010 makes, it is nothing compared to what their equivalent in the civilian sector would make (being a principal advisory to the guy or running a business with 100,000+ employees, managing multi-billion dollar budgets etc.)

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 06:59 PM
Progressively over time the compensation gets better, the work transitions from the equivalent of blue collar to white collar etc. the levels of responsibility etc. grow and the compensation package as a whole reflects that. As much as an E9 or 010 makes, it is nothing compared to what their equivalent in the civilian sector would make (being a principal advisory to the guy or running a business with 100,000+ employees, managing multi-billion dollar budgets etc.)I've heard that over and over many times and don't buy it. Sure, an E9 has a lot of responsibility but let's be honest, he's not dealing with anywhere close to the number of people high level management is in a normal company. A squadron Chief is over anywhere from 50 to 200 guys and, if he screws up, it's not going to ruin the AF because he's just one guy. In a fortune 500 company (or any large corporation) one guys mistakes can ruin the whole company. Also, with us not being a manufacturing/for profit company, all a bad Chief really does is become an annoyance for the squadron. A bad (E9) equivalent in a corporation wields a lot more power. Let's be honest, until a military guy hits 06 (at the lowest) he can't really be compared to anything other than middle management of a corporation.

Mjölnir
05-29-2015, 07:12 PM
I've heard that over and over many times and don't buy it. Sure, an E9 has a lot of responsibility but let's be honest, he's not dealing with anywhere close to the number of people high level management is in a normal company. A squadron Chief is over anywhere from 50 to 200 guys and, if he screws up, it's not going to ruin the AF because he's just one guy. In a fortune 500 company (or any large corporation) one guys mistakes can ruin the whole company. Also, with us not being a manufacturing/for profit company, all a bad Chief really does is become an annoyance for the squadron. A bad (E9) equivalent in a corporation wields a lot more power. Let's be honest, until a military guy hits 06 (at the lowest) he can't really be compared to anything other than middle management of a corporation.

Agreed, a Senior Enlisted won't screw the whole place up if they screw up, but a good one is worth more than their weight in gold and THAT is what they are there for. The Squadron, or Wing or (I don't know much about AF organization structure) Senior Enlisted as a principal advisor to the Commander (CEO) makes considerably less ($100,000 approx) than many senior advisors to CEO's whose boss has that same level of responsibility as the CEO. Again, it isn't an exact equivalency but that is kind of how I look at it. Having seen how lawmakers and their advisors and staffs come up with these plans, that is kind of how they look at it too.

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 07:18 PM
Agreed, a Senior Enlisted won't screw the whole place up if they screw up, but a good one is worth more than their weight in gold and THAT is what they are there for. The Squadron, or Wing or (I don't know much about AF organization structure) Senior Enlisted as a principal advisor to the Commander (CEO) makes considerably less ($100,000 approx) than many senior advisors to CEO's whose boss has that same level of responsibility as the CEO. Again, it isn't an exact equivalency but that is kind of how I look at it. Having seen how lawmakers and their advisors and staffs come up with these plans, that is kind of how they look at it too.

As far as AF structure, the Squadron Commander is generally an 05, in charge of maybe a couple hundred (at most) That's a very, very small company on the outside. IMO, the only time it starts getting comparable is when they hit 07 and get up to base commander/MAJCOM (regional) commanders, etc. Not saying that a squadron commander doesn't have a very important job but it just doesn't equate to anything above middle management.

I think we (the Air Force, can't speak for other services) get the idea that there's an equivalent because there are so many middle-middle management, lower middle management, upper middle management type jobs. A corporation doesn't have a chain of 5 different people and 15 different pay scales before getting to the guy who's in charge of the day to day operations of their factory.

Rusty Jones
05-29-2015, 07:19 PM
I've heard that over and over many times and don't buy it. Sure, an E9 has a lot of responsibility but let's be honest, he's not dealing with anywhere close to the number of people high level management is in a normal company. A squadron Chief is over anywhere from 50 to 200 guys and, if he screws up, it's not going to ruin the AF because he's just one guy. In a fortune 500 company (or any large corporation) one guys mistakes can ruin the whole company. Also, with us not being a manufacturing/for profit company, all a bad Chief really does is become an annoyance for the squadron. A bad (E9) equivalent in a corporation wields a lot more power. Let's be honest, until a military guy hits 06 (at the lowest) he can't really be compared to anything other than middle management of a corporation.

It's really hard for me to really picture a civilian equivalent to an E9 or any other SNCO paygrade. They only reason these paygrades exist is to have enlisted personnel who report directly to officers to serve as advocates for those enlisted under their charge. With levels in civilian organizations being a bit more "linear" (i.e., a clear path of progression for EVERYONE to have the opportunity start at "E1" and make "O10"), there'd be no reason to have SNCO equivalents.

It's more like there are 16 paygrades, with 2LT being the 7th... and you get promoted right into it from the 6th paygrade just like any other promotion.

sandsjames
05-29-2015, 07:24 PM
It's really hard for me to really picture a civilian equivalent to an E9 or any other SNCO paygrade. They only reason these paygrades exist is to have enlisted personnel who report directly to officers to serve as advocates for those enlisted under their charge. With levels in civilian organizations being a bit more "linear" (i.e., a clear path of progression for EVERYONE to have the opportunity start at "E1" and make "O10"), there'd be no reason to have SNCO equivalents.

It's more like there are 16 paygrades, with 2LT being the 7th... and you get promoted right into it from the 6th paygrade just like any other promotion.

Exactly...I just added something similar to my post above. In the civilian world the Chief would be the shop foreman and all the workers would report to him. Instead, we have 3 tiers before we get to the Chief which makes him seem much more important than he really is.

As a civilian, I report to a Chief equivalent civilian. I am a worker. There is nobody between us.

UncaRastus
05-29-2015, 08:16 PM
Mjolnir,

The last time I was at Parris Island SC, I saw that a whole new batch of housing was put up. For officers. The old tired single wide trailer park that was there, from when I was a DI was still there. Used by Staff NCOs.

Even the same trailers were there, at least a few years ago.

You should transfer back to the Corps and insist on being billeted at PI. But hold the rank. There are BEAUTIFUL houses for the O's!

That is all from your Career Enhancement Officer,

UR

Rainmaker
05-29-2015, 08:24 PM
From what I've seen, the only difference is that you HAVE to take the REDUX; and it will be at 12 years instead of 15. And you get matching TSP up to 5%, like federal civilians. If anything, that's probably better.

The only problem, however, is that the reserve components might have a bit of a recruiting problem if everyone who does four years active duty is going to get "something" when they turn 60. That's supposed to be the whole point of going into the reserves in the first place. Now they don't have to.

Here's a rule to live by. Anytime Politicians start talking about changing something to make it more "fair" for everyone, cover your butthole.

It's not better. For a couple of reasons. You get fucked on COLA (even more than now) The reason They want your money in there is because Congress can raid it as piggy bank whenever they want and they are going to take away the protection of the G fund as well. All your retirement is at risk
.

Stock funds will be worthless when all the 401K baby boomers are dumping shares onto the market. Eventually it will all be merged into a MyRA for you by your dear leader, so that Oligarchs assholes can live comfortably on their yachts in their retirement at age 50. While your children protest in the street. And you the "working age retiree" roof houses along side "dreamers" until you die.

garhkal
05-29-2015, 09:18 PM
Based on the above, if a couple is legally married only the higher ranking member will receive BAH. What happens when a couple decides to get divorced? Is the lower ranking member expected to live without BAH for however long the divorce takes? That could be years. If not, what documentation will be used to restart BAH?

Let's say a couple decides to split up. The husband is lower ranking and he moves out and gets his own apartment. Does he have to file for divorce first before finance can restart the BAH? What if after six months the couple decides not to get divorced? Does finance collect back the BAH? This sounds like a giant mess and finance is going to spend an insane amount of time trying to figure out living everyone's marital situation.

Some great questions, and i agree those will definitely be unintended consequences.
One you forgot to ask.. What defines a "Normal commuting distance from one another"??
I know plenty of people who commute more than 45 min one way.


If the above wasn't bad enough, what about same sex couples? They want equal treatment right? Does this mean that if a same sex couple declares their selves married one of them will also lose their BAH? That seems like an incentive for same sex couples to pretend they aren't married which is ironically the exact opposite of how it used to be.

What say you guys?

That is a great point. LGBTs want equality, but this law will potentially encourage them to stay 'single' to game the system. Just like straight folk.


Everybody military member should get single rate...there shouldn't be a bonus for having kids...

I agree, it also shouldn't vary anywhere near as much as it does based on rank either.


This wrongly discriminates against individual military members. Each member is entitled to BAH, regardless of who they choose to marry. If this passes, expect the next target to be mil-to-mil household goods entitlements and perhaps even retirement. I can hear it now, "why pay both mil members retirement when most other couples only enjoy one paycheck."

Or BAS, and other benefit pays..


Base housing is being privatized, with full BAH expected as payment. Second, FORCING people to live on base seems fair? Most bases are in ghettos, and the reason many choose not to live on base is so their children aren't forced to attend ghetto schools. Eff them though, right?

Bases USED to have their own schools, just to avoid that issue. So why not go back to having them on base?


Officers have always been paid less in BAS(rations).

http://militarybenefits.info/2015-bas-basic-allowance-for-subsistence-rates/

Cause officers are required to pay dues to a mess each and every month, unlike enlisted (well except for the E7-9).



What I do notice, however, is that it's easy to see why we do have difficulty saving any noticeable amount of money in the military. It's because it's the highest paid people who are making the decisions about where the money gets cut.

Just like when a civilian company needs to reduce overhead costs, they fire dozens of low grade to mid grade workers, when firing ONE or two of upper management would save exactly the same amount if not more.


Here's a rule to live by. Anytime Politicians start talking about changing something to make it more "fair" for everyone, cover your butthole.

It's not better. For a couple of reasons. You get fucked on COLA (even more than now) The reason They want your money in there is because Congress can raid it as piggy bank whenever they want and they are going to take away the protection of the G fund as well. All your retirement is at risk

Which is why for the longest time i have felt that ALL those in office, whether at the state or federal level, should receive exactly the same pay cut/pay rise mil, police/fire get.