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Programs & Services > Allowances > CONUS COLA > Calculation of Local Costs
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CONUS COLA Calculator



CONUS COLA Pay Out Tables

Calculation of Local Costs

Non-housing costs are calculated for high cost areas and average CONUS using the same methodology in order to generate a CONUS COLA index. Most locations are reviewed annually.

  • CONUS COLA is governed by Title 37 USC 403b, which requires that CONUS COLA data be collected by a contractor and take into account Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) and savings associated with commissaries and exchanges

  • Contractor data is collected for non-housing costs at each location and average CONUS, using the same methodology. For each location it provides overall civilian cost data on categories for items available in the private sector and commissaries and exchanges

  • Utilization rates for commissaries and exchanges are obtained from the CONUS Living Pattern Survey completed every three years by a random sample of military personnel. The commissaries and exchanges provide data on sales and savings by location. For each location and average CONUS, savings at commissaries and exchanges are calculated.

  • These cost savings plus the Basic Allowance for Subsistence are then subtracted from overall costs for each location and average CONUS. The ratio of adjusted costs between a location and average CONUS less .08, the threshold for CONUS COLA, is the CONUS COLA Index. The result is multiplied by 100 and rounded.

Payment of CONUS COLA

Payment of CONUS COLA is based on Spendable Income (SI) by grade, years of service and being with or without dependents. SI is based on non-housing expenses, adjusted for the taxes paid on CONUS COLA.




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