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Pay as a brand new Ensign/O1

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webmaster

The Grass is Greener!
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
What is my pay going to be like as an O1?

PURPOSE: This thread is going to cover that basic question, and what you should expect for the follow on years.

NOTE: If you have any insight to add from your perspective, or something I left out, please post a comment, and I will add it to this thread.

O1 Pay Breakdown

Your Active Duty Pay is handled by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), and up to date information on current pay scales can be found on their website: http://www.dfas.mil/

ONLINE RESOURCES:
DFAS Money Matters Website: http://www.dfas.mil/money/milpay/
Leave and Earnings Statement description: http://www.dfas.mil/money/milpay/les_djms.pdf
Current Year Pay Rates: http://www.dfas.mil/money/milpay/pay/
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Rates: http://www.dtic.mil/perdiem/bahform.html
Per Diem and Travel Committee Website: http://www.dtic.mil/
CONUS COLA Query: http://www.dtic.mil/perdiem/pdrform.html
OCONUS COLA Query: http://www.dtic.mil/perdiem/opdrform.html
Dislocation Allowance (DLA) Rates: http://www.dtic.mil/perdiem/dla.html

Pay Breakdown:

  • Base Pay: This is the overall pay you will recieve based on your current grade and time in service. This pay is taxable.
  • Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS): This is a meal pay that is given to you. Enlisted members lose this pay when they go to sea. Officers end up having to pay the wardroom mess fund for their food bill while at sea, and is MORE than this amount. Pocket this $$ on shore duty, not taxable.
  • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH): This is the pay you get based on your duty station and zip code to cover the cost of living in town. If your rent is LOWER than your BAH, you get to pocket the excess. If you live in base housing, they will take this pay from you and you won't see it on your LES. This pay is not taxable.
  • Aviation Career Incentive Pay (Flight Pay): When you start Primary you will begin to recieve flight pay based on the time you started flying, it is a graduated scale. This pay is taxable.
Deployment Specific Pays:

  • Sea Pay: A monthly pay you recieve while on sea duty, graduated pay scale on grade and time spent at sea. Taxable.
  • Family Seperation Allowance (FSA): A monthly allowance when you have been gone from your family (married) for greater than 30 days, paid in monthly increments. This is a deployment pay. Not taxable.
  • Immenint Danger Pay/Hostile Fire Pay (IDP/HFP): Combat pay. Taxable.
  • Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay (HDIP): Combat pay. Taxable.
  • Combat Zone Tax Exclusion (Tax Free): In a designated combat zone, your pay is tax free up to the amount that the MCPON makes.
Deductions:

  • Federal Taxes
  • State and Local Taxes: Note, if you change your state residency in the military, you can bypass these state taxes if you are a resident of say (Texas of Florida) for example, even while stationed in a state that has taxes. Spouses that work don't get the same exemption.
  • FICA Social Security
  • FICA Medicare
  • Service Group Life Insurance (SGLI): A government run life insurance program with varying amounts up to $250k for $16.25 a month.
  • Family SGLI: Same as SGLI but for your family.
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP): A government run 401k plan available to military members now.
  • Tricare Dental: Additional dental coverage for your family.
  • And any allotments you may have: Banking, insurance, auto, savings... etc...
Here are some different BEFORE TAXES pay scenarios that I threw together to give you an example of what to expect during flight training or initial entry in the military. For a more detailed break down, and working through a more complex "what if" on income and even retirement, look at the BENEFITS section later on in this post, and click on the Pay and Benefits Calculator or the Retirement Calculator.

O1 Pay Example, less than 1 year of service (FY04 Pay Table)

Base Pay $2264.40
BAS $175.23
BAH (Pensacola) $691.00 ** without dependents ($774 with) **

Total Monthly $3130.63
Total Yearly $37,567.56

O2 Pay Example, 2 years of service, 2 years flying (FY04 Pay Table)

Base Pay $2970.60
BAS $175.23
BAH (Pensacola) $746.00 ** without dependents ($900 with) **
Flight Pay $156

Total Monthly $4047.83
Total Yearly $48,573.96

O3 Pay Example, 6 years of service, 5 years flying, on 6 month deployment at sea, combat (FY04 Pay Table), for comparison's sake you are still in Pensacola.

Base Pay $4220.10
BAS $175.12
BAH (Pensacola) $851.00 ** without dependents ($946 with) **
FSA $250 ** will revert to $100 unless ammended by Congress
Flight Pay $206
Sea Pay $100
HFP $225
HDIP $175

Total Monthly $6202.22
Total Yearly (6 months deployed pay + 6 months at home pay) $69926.64​

Benefits

ONLINE RESOURCES:
Stay Navy: http://staynavy.navy.mil/
Pay and Compensation Calculation: http://staynavy.navy.mil/Tools/PCC/default.asp
Retirement Calculation: http://staynavy.navy.mil/Tools/RetCalc/default.asp

Significant Benefits the Navy Offers that Civilian Jobs Don't Offer:

  • 30 Days Paid Vacation. Most civilian jobs offer 10 days.
  • 10 paid holidays a year. Most civilian jobs offer only 6.
  • Lifetime Medical Care. Less than half of civilian employers offer retiree medical insurance.
  • Disability coverage. In the Navy if you are injured and unable to work, you continue to receive your compensation indefinitely. In the civilian sector you cease to be paid when you exhaust your sick and vacation time. Disability insurance can be purchased but it is very expensive and pays only a percentage of your income.
  • Tuition Assistance. The Navy has a very generous tuition assistance program. Most civilian jobs offer nothing in this area.
Morale, Welfare and Recreation services. The range of recreational services and assistance provided to you by the Navy is unmatched by any civilian job. They include:

  • Base Clubs
  • MWR Events and Discounted Tickets
  • Fitness Center, Pool, Tennis, Golf, and more
  • Discounted Equipment Rentals
  • Flying, Sail, and Scuba Clubs
  • Spouse Social Clubs
  • Hobby Shops
  • Other benefits include:
  • Free Legal Services
  • Space “A” Travel
  • Discounted Child Care
  • Spouse Employment Assistance
  • Thrift Savings Plan

My Pay: Online portal from DFAS

"myPay is an innovative, automated system that puts you in control of processing certain discretionary pay data items without using paper forms. You can also get your pay statements, tax forms and travel advice of payment using myPay.

Why should I use myPay?

  • myPay saves time - myPay eliminates the need to write letters or fill out forms by letting you make your own changes immediately with user-friendly technology.
  • myPay is convenient - You can access myPay nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to change or review your current information, or to check your most recent pay statement.
  • myPay is reliable - myPay has the same procedural checks for accuracy as our paper forms."
Once you are on Active Duty, you can sign up for MyPay, and it allows you to access a number of your pay related items:

  • Leave and Earnings Statement
  • Manage allotments
  • Get your W2
  • Manage your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
  • Advice of Payments (AOP) -- Payday notices
  • And more...
How do you sign up? Here is an excerpt from their FAQ: https://mypay.dfas.mil/FAQ.htm#ABOUT YOUR PIN

"How do I get a Personal Identification Number (PIN)?

If you are:

Civilian
Military Reservist (Any Branch of Service)
Active Air Force
Active Marine Corps
Military Retiree
Military Annuitant
Non Appropriated Fund Employee
Air Force Cadet​

Select NEW PIN under the NEED A NEW PIN option on the myPay Home Page.
The process will issue a new random temporary PIN for your account, which will be mailed to your address of record currently contained in your pay system. In order to initiate this process, return to the top of this page and click on MAIN, then select "New PIN". Please allow 10 business days for delivery.

If you have:

Army Knowledge Online (AKO) email address
DFAS email address​

Select NEW PIN under the NEED A NEW PIN option on the myPay Home Page. The process will issue a new random temporary PIN to your account, which will be emailed to your pre-registered Official email address. In order to initiate this process, return to the top of this page and click on MAIN, then select "Need a New PIN". Please allow 2 business days for delivery.

If you are:

Army Active (No AKO account)
Active Navy
Navy Midshipmen​

We cannot currently mail a new PIN to you, you must FAX or mail the following information to DFAS in order to establish a new temporary PIN:

Name
SSN
Copy of your government photo ID (If you do not have a government photo ID, you can send a copy of your driver's license or other photo ID.)
Daytime phone number
Signature​

FAX: 216-522-5800 or
Send this information to:

DFAS-Cleveland/PMCAA
Attention myPay
1240 East 9th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44199​

If you Fax or Mail your request, your new Temporary PIN will be set to the last five numbers of your SSN. Please wait at least two business days before attempting to use your new temporary PIN (allow additional time if you mailed your request). You will not receive any notification that your temporary PIN has been reset.

ONLY USE THIS PROCESS if you cannot remember your PIN and have been unable to use the on-line validation process shown above in FAQ #29.
For more information, visit their FAQ page: https://mypay.dfas.mil/FAQ.htm
 

twidget

Deskaholic
Thanks for all the info. I've got a quick question on BAH. I'm active duty and my wife will not be coming to Pensacola while I'm in OCS and Crypto School. Will my change to the P-cola rate, or will it stay at the Norfolk rate while my dependents are still there? Also, I'll lose BAS, but get FSA right?

Thanks for your input!
 

JKD

New Member
Something else to consider. You only pay taxes on base pay, you do not have to pay towards you medical insurance (as with many civilians), you don't have to pay into a retirement fund (unless you are doing the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)).

I advise looking at the Pay and Compensation calculator at http://staynavy.navy.mil.

It is not as easy as comparing the totals above with a civilian job paying X number of dollars. There are additional benefits not in the pay schedules (which the online tools help figure out).
 

signud

Final Select SNA
This may be a stupid question, but are those numbers before or after tax? And is there a different tax assessment that occurs for those that are in the military?
 

Squid

F U Nugget
pilot
twidget:

for crypto school,
if your dependents stay, you will get BAH for the rate in which THEY are living. Talk with PSD when you get here.

I have no idea with OCS, maybe you should ask that forum?
 

webmaster

The Grass is Greener!
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
twidget said:
Thanks for all the info. I've got a quick question on BAH. I'm active duty and my wife will not be coming to Pensacola while I'm in OCS and Crypto School. Will my change to the P-cola rate, or will it stay at the Norfolk rate while my dependents are still there? Also, I'll lose BAS, but get FSA right?

Thanks for your input!
Ooof, that's a good one.

Normally, and this is assuming that you are not a designated Geographical Bachelor in your orders, which in this case you aren't. BAH will be based on the zip code of your command that you are attached to (ie Pensacola).

Since you are going to be in OCS, I would assume if you were already active duty, that you would maintain your local Norfolk BAH until the completion of OCS and receipt of next set of orders. I could be mistaken. Definitely a question to be brought up with the PSD ppl.

As for FSA, that is forced family seperation, ie deployment. I don't believe that OCS counts (though I imagine it should....). ENSquid mentioned above that you would get FSA... I didn't go through OCS so I don't know...
 

webmaster

The Grass is Greener!
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
signud said:
This may be a stupid question, but are those numbers before or after tax? And is there a different tax assessment that occurs for those that are in the military?
I pulled those up for before taxes. Look at the Pay and Compensation calculator as mentioned for more detail.
 

Squid

F U Nugget
pilot
www.uscg.mil/hq/g-w/g-wp/g-wpm/g-wpm-2/FSA.htm
http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/pay/blfsa.htm

FAMILY SEPARATION ALLOWANCE

Authority: Under the provisions of 37 U. S. Code Section 427, Family Separation Allowance (FSA) is authorized for members with dependents of the Uniformed Services. FSA is payable in addition to any other allowance or per diem to which a member may be entitled. A member may qualify for FSA and Family Separation Allowance for Housing (FSH) for the same period and concurrent payment of both types are authorized. A member may not receive more than one payment of FSA for the same period even though member may qualify for both FSA-R and FSA-S or FSA-T (47 Comp Gen 788).

FSA: Compensates a member for the additional expenses incurred because of a family separation listed in Types R, S and T. It is payable to qualified members serving inside or outside the U.S. FSA is not authorized when a member performs duty at any station under permissive orders.

Rates Payable: $100.00 per month prorated daily until 30 Sep 02.
$250.00 per month effective 01 Oct 02 to 31 Dec 04.

FSA-R: is authorized when a member is transferred to a restricted station where transportation of dependents is not authorized at government expense and the dependents do not live at or near the member’s permanent duty station or home port.

FSA-S: is authorized when a member is permanently assigned to a ship which is away from its home port continuously for more than 30 days.

FSA-T: is authorized when a member is TEMDU/TAD away from the permanent station, including TEMDU/TAD aboard ship, continuously for more than 30 days, and the dependents do not reside at or near the TEMDU/TAD station.

basically, if they move YOU, you get it; if they move your FAMILY to NASP, you won't

edit: again, you may want to call PSD, they are the money gurus.
 

squeeze

Harrier Dude
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
easy way to think about it
Anything called "PAY" is taxable. Anything called "ALLOWANCE" is not.

/still wonders why they tax us to pay us with the same money.
 

JEEPER1219

Registered User
BAH and orders

Put simply...If your orders say PCS then you are not entitled to the BAH of where your dependants are. You are also not entitled to FSA. I am in Newport RI and since the Navy was "doing me a favor" by PCSing me here from San Diego and recommending that I not bring my family for the 5 months that I am here I will lose the 300/month difference from San Diego to Newport. It is rough, but the way it is. PCS means (unless otherwise stipulated in the orders) you have the choice to bring your family.
 
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