AUSN

SUMMER 2018

Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

Issue link: http://digital.ausn.org/i/1012109

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Legislative Update 13 Association of the United States Navy dent's fiscal 2019 budget request to provide a pay raise equal to the growth in the Employment Cost Index, determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be 2.6 percent, and establish the goal of restoring full-pay-raise compa- rability and ultimately closing the existing, cumulative-pay-raise gap, which currently stands at 2.6 percent. Basic Allowance for Housing From time to time, AUSN has witnessed attempts to reduce Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) payouts in favor of putting a greater burden on the wallets of our Navy families. AUSN and our coalition partners strongly believe that BAH is an essential component of regular military compensation. AUSN urged the subcommittee to sustain current applicable BAH calculations for all service members, regardless of their housing-sharing status, and restore BAH rates to match 100 percent of median housing costs once fiscal conditions permit. Military Retirement System e blended retirement system (BRS) has been a challenge, at best, for AUSN's members to under- stand its immediate impact and its long-term ramifications. During the continuing adjustments in the application of the BRS, AUSN has urged the subcommittee to extend the period of government match to include all years of service for all eligible service members, both officer and enlisted (current law offers no match beyond 26 years). is includes increasing the government matching contribution from 4 percent to 5 percent, and resisting any delay in the start of matching contributions (currently, matching will begin aer two years of service). AUSN has maintained that for our active-duty Sailors to make prudent investment deci- sions, the Department of Defense (DoD) should be required to implement high-quality education programs to guide them. AUSN also urged the DoD to provide objective criteria to help members with less than 12 years of service in making prudent decisions between remaining under the current system or converting to the blended system — decisions which must be made before January 1, 2019. Military spouses should be included as fully as possible in the BRS education program. Statistics show, by conservative estimates, that more than 90 percent of household finances in a military family are managed by the spouse. One important footnote regarding BRS is AUSN's urging that the full financial impact on Sailors under the BRS is under- stood. As we move into the first six-months of the opt-in year, understanding of the new BRS remains low. Per a recent survey by Blue Star Families, a majority (51 percent) of those service members and spouses who indi- cated they were eligible for the BRS say they do not understand it and 42 percent indicated they did not know how the new system works compared to the old benefit. AUSN is committed to ensuring that our Navy families are well informed and protected, and we will continue to provide BRS informa- tion online and in Navy magazine. Retired Pay Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) AUSN has expressed our gratitude to the Personnel Subcommittee for its vigilance in protecting the full value of retired pay COLAs, most recently by providing final relief in the fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act from the impact on future entrants to military service of the COLA-1 provision in the fiscal 2015 Budget Enforce- ment Act. Along with our coali- tion partners, AUSN has urged the subcommittee to oppose the adoption of a chained Consumer Price Index computation or any other COLA reductions that would devalue retired pay, survivor bene- fits, disability compensation and other programs over time. AUSN is committed to preserving the very best in benefits and financial security for our members and will continue to monitor COLA management. Visit the Legislative Affairs section of AUSN.org for the full mid-year Legislative Update. Compiled by Brian Bauman, Director of Membership and Marketing, and the AUSN Legislative Team.

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