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Entitlements gains over the past decade


As a front-line supervisor, you’ll overhear conversations and be approached by airmen who’ve heard there has been an erosion of military benefits over the years.  Most of these discussions stem from a “shift” in benefits vice an erosion.  For example, many airmen don’t realize that the downsizing of the early ‘90s dramatically cut the number of medical facilities in the Air Force.  As a result, more family members were being treated under CHAMPUS and now TRICARE.  The benefit is still available, the method of delivery has changed.  To help you address their concerns, the following information is provided.  The list is not all-inclusive; it highlights only the key gains each year.

FY01 National Defense Act Provides For:

3.7% pay raise in January 2001

Targeted pay raises for grades E-5 through E-7 in July 2001

Phased-in elimination of out-of-pocket expenses associated with living off base

Additional pay of up to $500 per month for those who qualify for food stamps

Implementation of Thrift Savings Plan for active duty and Reserve members

For those enrolled in VEAP, an opportunity to enroll in the Montgomery GI Bill

Increased tuition assistance to cover 100% tuition costs

“Health care for life” combining TRICARE and Medicare

Comprehensive retail and national mail-order pharmacy

Increase in special duty pay to maximum of $600 per month

FY00 National Defense Act Provided For:

The restoration of the pre-1986 military retirement plan for  service members who entered the armed forces on Aug. 1, 1986 or later

A 4.8 percent across-the-board pay raise, effective January 2000

Targeted pay raises in Jul 2000

A provision to require military pay raises from fiscal 2001 through fiscal 2006 to be 0.5 percent above the employment cost index. This will help narrow the gap between military and private sector pay.

Establishment of a Career Enlisted Flyer Incentive Pay Program

Establishing TRICARE beneficiary counseling and assistance coordinators.

Expanding dental benefits for members of the Ready Reserve

A provision to help junior enlisted members reduce out-of-pocket moving costs. Payment of temporary lodging expenses will now be authorized upon assignment to their first permanent duty station.

FY99 National Defense Act Provided For:

3.6 percent pay raise

Increased hazardous duty pay for enlisted flight personnel ($15 per month for E-4 crewmembers, and $40 per month for those at the E-5 through E-9)

Retention incentives for critically-short military occupational specialties.

Health care services for military retirees. A three-year demonstration program will let Medicare-eligible retirees and their families enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program starting Jan. 1, 2000.

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