We know this has happened for many already but they have dropped several more and added a few that didn't have it.

COLA Drops for Many

December 29, 2010 Terry Howell

As to be expected given the continuing recession and subsequent reduc*tion in the cost-of-living for many areas, the 2011 Cost-of-living-Allowance (CONUS COLA) rates will drop for most of the higher cost Military Housing Areas. However, New York City, Staten Island, and locations in Illinois and Massachusetts which will see COLA return to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center and Worcester, Ma. will see a modest increase in their COLA rates.

This years list of COLA locations grew shorter as Madera, Ca.; Miami/Fort Laud*erdale, Fl.; Seattle, Wa.; and both Perth and Ft. Monmouth, N.J. were taken off the COLA list for 2011.

Unlike Basic Allowance for Housing, there is no provision in the law for rate protection for COLA. This means that if your MHA sees a drop in COLA, you will see the reduction reflected in your military paycheck.


As a requirement of their Service, members of the Uniformed Services move about the country. During their careers, members are likely to be assigned to a variety of low, moderate, and high-cost locations. Private sector pay scales tend to reflect local living costs in U.S. locations, but military pay tables do not.

CONUS COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) is designed to partially compensate military members for non-housing costs, when stationed in high-cost areas of the United States.

An area is considered high cost if the non-housing cost of living for that area exceeds the threshold percentage. The law (37 USC 403b) authorizes the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Administering Secretaries, to establish a threshold not lower than 108% of the national average non-housing cost of living. For the first year, 1995/6, the Secretary of Defense set the threshold at 109%; for all subsequent years, the threshold has been 108%.

CONUS COLA varies by pay grade, years of service (YOS), and whether or not the member has dependents.



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