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Allowances - Post Living Differential (PLD) [MERGED]

Halifax Tar

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An MWO AES Op posted to Shearwater or Pat Bay who is a flyer, who gets promoted to CWO and posted to Comox or Greenwood definitely lose earnings.

They give up AIRCRA and PLD for a $3 pay raise going from Spec 1 MWO to Basic CWO…

So AES Ops are overpaid and it doesn't level out until they become CWOs ? ;)

Ducks for cover
 

Eye In The Sky

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PLD has broken and has failed. It no longer effectively does what it’s supposed to do. The peg to an Ottawa baseline has been allowed to become a polite fiction- those in a position of responsibility know that with what Ottawa has done in the past six years, a reassessment of PLD against the Ottawa baseline would result in a massive loss of PLD benefits.

Perhaps. It might result in releases for people who aren’t willing to take a loss of earnings, and will happily take their release move to somewhere more affordable.

I believe the housing affordability issue has grown much larger than simply PLD as an allowance. If CAF wants to retain a benefit for things like fuel and groceries cost, sure. There’s even other precedent for that in the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive that PS/RCMP have for some isolated locations. There’s a ‘living cost differential’ and an ‘shelter cost differential’ as two different rates.

Separate housing from other issues, and deal with it as the recruiting and retention imperative that it is.

Would this change the money the mbr sees in their account in a positive way? If not, no one will care what name the benefit is under.
I stand by having it means tested. To be blunt, I feel you were deliberately oversimplifying and dumbing down what I said, as if someone would be financially disadvantaged by promotion and losing such a benefit. In reality, a financial benefit could easily be scaled to avoid that, and still to cease at a certain amount of income (perhaps relative to a points matrix for different markets).

I didn’t mean to deliberately dumb down anything, but I did point out what you called a housing benefit is intended as more than just that. I can’t help if that appears anything other than presenting accurate info.

The part about posting allowances was meant to demonstrate another unique benefit most Canadians don’t get. They also don’t have forced moves every 2 or more years. There is and should be compensation for that.

The fear of equity loss could be mitigated by a fairly applied home equity assistance benefit tied to relocation. A version of this already exists.



I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that assistance specifically for home ownership should ramp down eventually once you’ve attained a rank and salary that should be more able to support it. The hardest part is getting into the market. Once you start building equity, if equity losses on posting are compensated, that’s pretty fair and reasonable.

Some people don’t get all of their equity losses compensated though.

Again, any such benefit needs to be defensible as a military necessity, to a population that doesn’t receive it. Only CAF gets PLD, and CAF salaries are already pretty good compared to the population at large.

A few hours searching for homes in places like Victoria should help anyone see why PLD is necessary. Standard pay category Cpl pay can be there base salary for pre-approval on mortgages. Once the public has cracked that nut, they can move on to Comox and do the exercise again for Avr/Pte ranks. Remembering of course that the pay office doesn’t include PLD on your certified pay sheet for bank purposes.

PLD isn’t perfect. Removing it won’t fix problems but it will certainly cause more.
 

Quirky

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Gen Safety (UGSO) is actually a fairly significant workload, so I’ve learned over the last 10 months. 663s, CF 98s and other reports/returns are part of that workload. So is SNIC Rep, COVID tracker…the list goes on.
So why isn't that position being carried out by a Wing rep. If it's a significant workload, that's a secondary duty, then why isn't it a primary duty for someone else? UGSO is one of those positions that isn't core business to a unit but dumped on from the Wing. It should be cut from units.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Having shouldered the work as one of my secondary duties I agree. Our Wing UGSO TORs state the duty should consume 50% of your time if it’s a secondary duty. Ya, ok. Not happening - it’s not even my sole Sec duty.

Why isn’t this handled at the Wing level? Funding for positions would be my guess.
 

brihard

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Perhaps. It might result in releases for people who aren’t willing to take a loss of earnings, and will happily take their release move to somewhere more affordable.



Would this change the money the mbr sees in their account in a positive way? If not, no one will care what name the benefit is under.


I didn’t mean to deliberately dumb down anything, but I did point out what you called a housing benefit is intended as more than just that. I can’t help if that appears anything other than presenting accurate info.

The part about posting allowances was meant to demonstrate another unique benefit most Canadians don’t get. They also don’t have forced moves every 2 or more years. There is and should be compensation for that.







Some people don’t get all of their equity losses compensated though.



A few hours searching for homes in places like Victoria should help anyone see why PLD is necessary. Standard pay category Cpl pay can be there base salary for pre-approval on mortgages. Once the public has cracked that nut, they can move on to Comox and do the exercise again for Avr/Pte ranks. Remembering of course that the pay office doesn’t include PLD on your certified pay sheet for bank purposes.

PLD isn’t perfect. Removing it won’t fix problems but it will certainly cause more.
Sorry, I might not have been clear- I strongly believe CAF should have some benefit that helps to ensure a reasonably responsible CAF member at any rank has secure housing, and that a career with some progression should give them a reasonable shot at home ownership. I think we’re very much on the same side there. I just think the current model has been surpassed by market events and there needs to be a ground up rebuild, premised on correct first principles.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Sorry, I might not have been clear- I strongly believe CAF should have some benefit that helps to ensure a reasonably responsible CAF member at any rank has secure housing, and that a career with some progression should give them a reasonable shot at home ownership. I think we’re very much on the same side there. I just think the current model has been surpassed by market events and there needs to be a ground up rebuild, premised on correct first principles.

I’ve suggested once, talking about this at work, that the baseline shouldn’t be “a city” but that it could be based on a mbrs place of enrolment. The CAF could, theoretically, post me on initial posting to a lower COL area than I enrolled from but still give me PLD.

End of the day, the best option always seemed to boil down to a standard tax level for CAF mbrs regardless of provincial tax rates.

That solves, partially, the disparity CAF mbrs might face but now disadvantages some provinces (NS comes to mind immediately, and Qc).

I agree though; the current system doesn’t seem right. Vic gets PLD,
Comox doesn’t. Same for Halifax and Greenwood. Edmonton does, and they are or were receiving some gas tax relief we aren’t in NS.
 

Eye In The Sky

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So AES Ops are overpaid and it doesn't level out until they become CWOs ? ;)

Ducks for cover
George Costanza Seinfeld GIF
 

dimsum

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What a BAH system might have issues with is coping with big jumps in the market. If prices stay relatively stable then its not a big deal, but if a market goes up 50% in a year then do you up the BAH for everyone, including the folks paying a mortgage based on the old market? Like I said, I am not a compensation expert, nor a real estate guru nor an economist.
How does the US military do it? (This isn't just for you but anyone in the crowd)

I'm assuming some of their base markets have gone up as well.
 

Oldarmyguy77

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The standard of living is much higher on most
U.S bases than in Canada. There housing is better kept, they have full shopping, medical care for dependents and much larger discounts than the C.F. The qs on some of our bases that are not newly renovated are in such poor condition that low income housing wouldn't even touch them. The government sold off Dnd land that was sold off in the late 90s instead of investing in military housing. I can only imagine the outcry the if m.ps themselves had to live in such conditions.
 

Ostrozac

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How does the US military do it? (This isn't just for you but anyone in the crowd)

I'm assuming some of their base markets have gone up as well.
The US adjusts BAH each year, for each market. During times of particular market fluctuation, it can be adjusted twice a year, as it was in 2021 for multiple locations.

Canada has a policy to adjust PLD annually — the CBI states “PLD rates are taxable and are set annually” — but this direction has been ignored for well over a decade, without even being rewritten to explain the freeze of PLD. Because ignoring policy is apparently an option.
 

Fabius

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The US Military Basic Allowance for Housing for the next year is released every December. I think its assessed every year but I could be wrong. 2022 rates for soldiers with dependents are here. Note as well that its is tax free and paid only if you live off base as is indicated by several above.
There is a separate Cost of Living Allowance for high cost locations and an Army Food Allowance for those living off base that is a little short of $300 for officers and a little over $400 for enlisted and is also not taxable.
 

KevinB

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Also on Post down here the Base Exchange has cheap fuel, and a variety of other items that are taxed significantly lower than off post.

But having seen both sides of the coin, CAF members generally have it much better financially at the NCO ranks than US Mil Pers.

That said the on post living quantity and quality is significantly better down here.
 

Halifax Tar

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Also on Post down here the Base Exchange has cheap fuel, and a variety of other items that are taxed significantly lower than off post.

But having seen both sides of the coin, CAF members generally have it much better financially at the NCO ranks than US Mil Pers.

That said the on post living quantity and quality is significantly better down here.

Do most US Mil folks live on base ? How well prepared are they for retirement and having to live on the economy ?

As for pay, I have always understood that we make more but they have better benefits to being in their military. I was amazed in Afghanistan at their PXs and what thy carried and that they could buy cars and have them waiting for them when they get home. I could be wrong though.
 

KevinB

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Do most US Mil folks live on base ? How well prepared are they for retirement and having to live on the economy ?

As for pay, I have always understood that we make more but they have better benefits to being in their military. I was amazed in Afghanistan at their PXs and what thy carried and that they could buy cars and have them waiting for them when they get home. I could be wrong though.
The model of the US Military is significantly different from Canada.

There is significant ‘churn’ at the lower ranks. New Members come in and leave at rates that are unfathomable for Canada.
The majority of new soldiers live on post from what I see.

There are countless more Veteran benefits as well, and a lot of Federal jobs pretty much require prior service at this point. As well as VA Mortgages - so IMHO the US System is better setup to deal with soldiers exiting the Military than Canada as far as work after release.

Admittedly, I don’t know interact with many lower ranking soldiers, the majority of friends and acquaintances are in the MSgt+ rank levels and 95%+ SOF, which have their own benefits as well.
 

Halifax Tar

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The model of the US Military is significantly different from Canada.

There is significant ‘churn’ at the lower ranks. New Members come in and leave at rates that are unfathomable for Canada.
The majority of new soldiers live on post from what I see.

There are countless more Veteran benefits as well, and a lot of Federal jobs pretty much require prior service at this point. As well as VA Mortgages - so IMHO the US System is better setup to deal with soldiers exiting the Military than Canada as far as work after release.

Admittedly, I don’t know interact with many lower ranking soldiers, the majority of friends and acquaintances are in the MSgt+ rank levels and 95%+ SOF, which have their own benefits as well.

I appreciate your input! I imagined they had much better benefits for their soldiers and sailors when exiting the military. Are these monetary benefits taken from the Defense budget ? Or are they drawn from their version of VAC ?

Also I think we would be better off with the higher rates of churn and short contracts with say education benefits at completion of service than our careerist mindset. But we are so short for people we cant afford to lose bandsmen let alone anyone else.

I think the benefits they receive far out weigh our better levels of pay. But the grass isn't always greener I suppose.
 

KevinB

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VA budget comes out of DoD
 

rmc_wannabe

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All things considered, I think k the U.S. does a far better job selling the benefits of service because the have set up a system that actually provides them, provides them consistently, and have educated the public about why they provide them.

The CAF and the Canadian Government don't do any of those things well. Any need from the CAF and its members are met with the same look you receive from your parents when you ask for lunch money: "What? Again? You ate yesterday and you want to eat again today? Spoiled brats!"
 

TheMattHan

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I had a great "discussion" on CAF Reddit with others who were convinced that with the allowances, etc that US NCMs were paid better than CAF NCMs.

I pretty much just gave up arguing.
Went through a bit of math calculations between a CAF MCpl in Gagetown and a US Army Sgt in Fort Bragg after Federal and Provincial taxes a CAF MCpl is Sitting at about 37500 USD a year without R&Q with R&Q around 30000 USD a US Army Sgt after taxes is sitting at around 28000 but if receiving BAH it bumps him up to almost 46000 USD he's getting around 1500 a month tax free and that really makes the difference.
 
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