Changes to compensation and benefits for Canadian Armed Forces members

From: National Defence


The Treasury Board has approved a number of changes to compensation and benefits for members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

These changes, many of which are major, are being made to the Compensation and Benefit Instructions, known as the CBIs, for the Canadian Armed Forces. Included in these changes is the restructuring of Reserve Force pay, announced on June 14, 2019.

The CBIs affected are CBI 204 – Pay Policy for Officers and Non-Commissioned Members; CBI 205 – Allowances for Officers and Non-Commissioned Members; and CBI 10 – Military Foreign Service Instructions. Most of the changes are effective immediately and backdated.

For most increases affecting pay or allowances, members should begin receiving the new rates on their end of August pay.

Key Changes

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces review pay and benefits on a regular basis to ensure members are being compensated in a fair manner. These following changes are being made to ensure pay and benefits remain competitive in the labour market:

  • Officer cadets in the Regular Officer Training Plan will have a pay increase of approximately $500 per month due to an increase in the cost of rations and quarters at the Royal Military Colleges (backdated to April 1, 2018).
  • Search and Rescue Technician Allowances will be increased to more accurately reflect the components/requirements of the job. The increase in the Rescue Specialist Allowance will range from $77 to $183 a month, depending on how long the member has worked as a Search and Rescue Technician (backdated to April 1, 2018).
  • Chief warrant officers and chief petty officers who are senior appointments to a strategic level position, such as a Command Chief Warrant Officer, will be paid at the highest level for the rank – Level 8C. In addition, the Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer/Chief Petty Officer will receive a special pay differential in the amount of $4,374 a year. This is done to recognize the increasing demands and greater responsibilities placed on these members (backdated to October 1, 2018).
  • As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, how Reserve Force pay is calculated for Class A and Class B periods of service is being changed, in order to better align compensation with that of the Regular Force and to recognize the unique role of reservists. This change was announced on June 14, 2019 and amounts to a restructuring of how Reserve Force pay is calculated. For details, please refer to the Reserve Force Pay News Release.
  • Rates of pay for medical and dental officers will increase by 5.67 percent. In addition, the annual special military differential will increase from $20,002 to $39,000 for medical officers and from $10,013 to $19,000 for dental officers. For reservists, the special military differential is paid at a daily rate. It will increase from $55 to $107 a day for medical officers and from $27 to $52 a day for dental officers. A special military differential is an amount paid on top of a salary, which recognizes the unique skills and education required for that particular profession. These increases are to realign pay for those Canadian Armed Forces members with the average of civilian Canadian physicians and dentists (backdated to April 1, 2018).
  • Pharmacy officers will now receive an annual special military differential of $15,000 to align them more closely with their public service counterparts (backdated to April 1, 2018).
  • The Military Foreign Service Instructions have been amended to preclude the concurrent payment of Hardship Allowance with Environmental Allowances whose purpose is to compensate for substantially the same adverse environmental conditions. This is to correct the omission of Sea Duty and Submarine Allowances from the “no entitlement” clause (effective August 1, 2019).
  • Members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are not yet trained in their chosen occupation who choose to quit the CAF through Voluntary Release (known as Item 4(c) – on request) will not be entitled to relocation benefits.

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