Relief for Whom?

As a result of H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Defense Department civilians will see a reduction in their paychecks, while uniformed service members may see a change, announced Pentagon finance and accounting officials. The legislation, which President Obama signed on Jan. 2, restores Social Security withholding taxes to 6.2 percent—for the past several years, the rate was 4.2 percent—meaning DOD civilians will see a 2 percent reduction in net pay reflected in their January paychecks for the pay period ending on Dec. 29, 2012, states the Pentagon’s Jan. 4 release. Uniformed military personnel “could see an increase in net pay, no change, or a decrease,” since their net pay is “affected by a variety of additional factors, such as increases in basic allowances for housing, subsistence, longevity basic pay raises, and promotions,” states the release. (See also Sequester Reprieve.)