UPDATE: On Military Retirement

Fuck these Bipartisan DADT dudes….

Big Retirement Cuts for Current Troops?

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.

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About Capers Bar

I am retired Army officer. I used to fly helicopters and airplanes while I was in the Army. Nowadays, I do other things that are not so cool and sexy. I decided to write about my journey or whatever you want to call it towards running a half-marathon this fall. I have been running since 1983, I have run the Duke City full and half marathons. I don't run that fast anymore, I did win a 10K when I was 21, those days are mercifully past me. The fastest mile I have turned is a 5:05 during one of those Army physical fitness test 2 mile runs. The point I am making is that I am old, slow, and experienced runner. I named the blog after my running buddy, Bandit, an Australian Blue Heeler. He is my 3rd K-9 running buddy, the previous two dogs were black labs. I hope to write about some of my discussions that I have with Bandit in the future. I once owned, but since sold and a satirical and irreverent sports blog that was moderately successful. I was published in the left-wing national sports media by Sports Illustrated and ESPN. I am "stuck" in Alabama working for a military contractor. I am working so fricking hard to get back to Southeast New Mexico or West Texas. Fingers and toes crossed.

4 comments on “UPDATE: On Military Retirement

  1. These are pics of of KY National Guard soldiers at Camp Shelby, MS. HOOAH.

  2. Yeah, those are definitely the Korean War-era B’s at Shelby…

    The list I kept this past deployment of reasons to re-enlist was 3 reasons long… the list I kept as reasons to get out was 15 reasons long. I still decided to re-enlist. Possible regret of this decision time now.

  3. Yep. I am strangely torn between how much I hate the Army and whatever it is that keeps me in. Getting ready for National Guard this weekend and trying to figure out how I’m going to avoid my BDEs next deployment. Been there, done that.

  4. I truely feel sorry for the members in the U.S. Miltary today. I retired 1994 from the Air Force and even promises made in my 20 yrs are coming into play with doubt. Was made a promise for lifetime dental (is still kept if you can afford to travel to a military installation, sit in a dental office for hours or days on end on “Stand-by” status), Yes, I am entitled to and promised Medical care at a V.A. hospital (But even this has changed with the need now to enroll, go thru a interview process where all aspects of your finances are touched upon as a way for the government to “re-coupe” expenditures if they deem it needs to be).

    What happened to the “days” of when your I.D. card or DD form 214 was sufficient proof that you qualify for promises made ? 401k plans are not the answer, 30 year active duty for 50% of your base pay for retirement is not the answer….non-reassurance that social security will still be available by the time you reach the earliest age to request it is not the answer.

    I can see the dillema and no, sadly I don’t know the answers, for if I did I would have ran for office. I’m in military mode now (16 yrs later from retirement) still upset with what I’m seeing
    happening to vet’s and active duty alike. So, as they say…..I’m getting my 2 cents worth in, but based on our economic situation, even that 2 cents is valued now more than the metal it cost to make it.

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