By Ms. Desiree Dillehay (Grafenwoehr)October 30, 2019
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- This year, the U.S. Army has assigned volunteers to determine the Cost of Living Allowance adjustments in Germany.
The adjustments will be based on the Retail Price Schedule, also known as a Market Basket Survey.
U.S. Army Europe recruited Soldiers from units throughout Germany and coordinated volunteer support through local housing offices and Army Community Service offices to assist with the price collection requirement. These individuals will go to local stores on the German economy and price approximately 120 items between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15.
Once the prices of 120 different goods and services are collected, the Defense Management Travel Office compares the prices in Germany to those in the U.S. to compute the Cost of Living Index. Additional factors considered include the euro rate for the year and cost of living in the U.S. More information on calculating the Cost of Living Index can be found at https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/colaIndexCalc.cfm.
The actual COLA adjustments based on the RPS results will go into effect in early 2020.
COLA is payable to all service members and their command-sponsored family members assigned to one of Germany's 11 locations: Ansbach, Garmisch, Geilenkirchen, Hohenfels, Kalkar, Kaiserslautern, Pfullendorf, Spangdahlem, Stuttgart, Vilseck/Grafenwoehr and Wiesbaden.
All volunteers and appointed Soldiers for this year's RPS were trained in September and are ready to pursue this process. However, additional community members interested in assisting with the price collection are welcome to contact their local Army Community Service office and register as a volunteer.
- ACS Grafenwoehr/Vilseck: DSN 476-2650, CIV 09662-83-2650
- ACS Garmisch: DSN 440-3572, CIV 08821-750-3572
- ACS Hohenfels: DSN 522-4860, CIV 09641-70-522-4860
The RPS is conducted annually. The Living Pattern Survey -- which captures input from all service members and their families on where and how they purchase goods and services -- is conducted every three years. The last LPS for USAG Bavaria was conducted in 2018.
For more information on how Overseas COLA is calculated, view fact sheet at https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/Fact_Sheet_COLA.pdf.