As the fiscal year heads into its final quarter in July, Navy personnel officials are tightening the belt on re-up bonuses. Navy officials released an administrative message today updating award levels for those on active-duty.

The bad news is that 14 award levels were decreased while six others were removed altogether. There were no new additions or increases to award levels.

The good news, though, is that for now, the remaining 130 skills — ratings, reenlistment zones and enlisted classification multiples — will remain the same, for now.

The decreases and eliminations will go into effect July 21. 

It's the second update to the SRB plan this fiscal year. (The last one came out at the end of December.)

The Navy pays bonuses at five maximum levels: $30,000, $45,000, $60,000, $75,000 and $100,000, with the level depending on how critical of a need there is for any given skill.

For the bonus distribution, half is paid in a lump sum up front and the remainder is paid annually on the re-up anniversary, with equal amounts distributed for each remaining year. Award levels can change depending on number of years in service, a factor that helps determine which re-enlistment zone a sailor is in.

Each bonus-eligible skill is assigned a numeric "multiple," used to calculate how close a sailor is to the maximum allowed payout.

With payments dispersed over the course an the enlistment, the Navy's overall bonus budget is broken into two parts — initial contracts and anniversary payments.

The total re-up bonus budget for FY17 is $250 million. Of that, $127 million is planned to be spent on new reenlistment contracts.

As of June 19, the service had already spent nearly $200 million, over $95 million of which went toward nearly 5,300 new initial contracts. Over 500 new contracts and nearly $9 million are still pending.

Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.

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