Military retirees and those who receive disability checks and some other types of pay from the Department of Veterans Affairs will see a 2% pay raise in their monthly paychecks in 2018.
It is the biggest cost of living (COLA) increase since 2012, equaling as much as $310 a month for those at the top of the retirement pay charts.
Many monthly benefits going up
Thanks to the increase, the average military retirement check for an E-7 with 20 years of service will go up by $46 a month, while an O-5 with the same time in uniform will see an $88 monthly increase.
Disabled veterans will also see a bump, with the average VA disability check going up about $3 per month for those with a 10 percent rating, and $58 for those rated at 100 percent.
Military retirees and VA beneficiaries aren't the only ones who benefit from the COLA increase. Civil service retirees will also see the 2% jump in their monthly checks.
And for Social Security recipients, the monthly increase will mean an extra $25 per month for the average beneficiary.
Biggest COLA bump in years
Most government payments see a COLA increase every year. The increase, which is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), makes sure payments keep up with inflation.
Recipients can thank a big jump in the cost of gasoline due to Hurricane Harvey for the jump in the CPI that caused this year's COLA boost.
The COLA affects benefits for more than 70 million U.S. residents, including Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, federal retirees, and retired military members. That's about one in every five Americans.
Last year, the COLA increase was 0.3%; in 2015, retirees saw their checks remain at 2014 levels.
Lower than the active-duty pay raise?
Congress is still hashing out the pay raise currently serving troops will receive for 2018.
Both a proposal passed by the Senate and a White House plan mandate a 2.1% increase. A measure passed by the House would instead give troops a 2.3% increase.
A decision on just what those troops will receive -- and whether what retirees and VA users will receive is lower -- has yet to be made. Lawmakers have recently started closed-door negotiations on the proposals.
Unlike that active-duty pay raise, the bump received by retirees and VA users does not require an act of Congress to go into effect. Those groups will see their pay raise in January regardless of what Congress does for current troops.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.