COLA Loses Some Fizz

The Defense Department reduced the cost-of-living allowance for service members and their families living overseas. The changes took effect on Saturday. The total reduction will vary based on the service member’s rank, years of service, number of dependents, and duty location. For example, a major living in central London will receive $114 less per month, while a technical sergeant living in the same location will receive $22 less. However, cuts can be significantly higher at other locations. In Stavanger, Norway, that same major would receive $470 less per month, while the same tech sergeant would see a cut of $249 a month. The downward adjustment came as a result of the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer expenditure survey that showed that overseas-stationed military personnel bought less expensive goods and services, such as a used car instead of a new one. (Ramstein release)