Life in the military means you may find yourself living in some pricey areas of the country. But unlike civilian employers, who usually adjust compensation levels to reflect the local cost-of-living, the military pay table is set and does not change based on location. Thankfully, military service members may be eligible for a Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) which is designed to help offset the effects of higher cost areas in the continental United States (CONUS).
In 2012, service members are receiving a higher COLA in most areas, COLA has been reinstated in some locations which were excluded in 2011, but a few select areas will no longer receive COLA payments.
COLA information can be found in these handbooks:
- US Military Handbook
- Guard and Reserve Handbook
- US Military Retired