Fuck these Bipartisan DADT dudes….
On Wednesday, the Bipartisan Policy Center released the recommendations of a privately funded Budget Reduction Task Force with the goal of bringing the federal debt below 60 percent of GDP by 2020.
This group, co-chaired by former Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) and former Congressional Budget Office Director Alice Rivlin, is independent of the President’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, whose co-chairs issued a separate deficit-cutting proposal last week (see box above).
Among a broad range of other proposals, the Rivlin-Domenici plan would dramatically alter the military retirement system by:
* Shifting it to a 401(k)-style system involving member contributions and variable government matching (depending on skill, retention needs, etc., each year),
* Basing retired pay on the highest five years’ average basic pay (vs. the current three years),
* Delaying eligibility for immediate retired pay until age 57 for those with 20 or more years’ service, and
* Vesting retirement benefits for members with 10 or more years of service
They estimate this would reduce long-term military retirement costs by 50%.
To help achieve those savings, the Rivlin-Domenici plan would shift all currently serving troops with less than 15 years of service to the new system!
MOAA believes the basic proposal is as ill-advised as were similar proposals in years past, in that its fundamental premise is to dramatically cut compensation for people who complete a military career in order to pay people who elect to separate.
It’s a formula guaranteed to end in a long-term retention and readiness disaster. If it were in place today and soldiers with 10 years of service facing a third or fourth…or fifth…combat deployment had a choice between leaving with a vested retirement benefit or being forced to serve until age 57 to get an immediate annuity, we wouldn’t like the resulting retention rates.
Abrogating retirement promises to all currently serving personnel with less than 15 years of service would add gross insult to grievous injury.
MOAA doesn’t believe Congress would stand for it. But having a commission of this stature even propose such a thing is troubling, indeed.