By Jim GaramoneAmerican Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2011 The military retirement system isn’t going to change any time soon, Defense Department officials said.
“There’s no immediate plan to affect retirement,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told service members at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, July 31.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said any changes to military retirement should be studied carefully and should be “grandfathered” so the military doesn’t break faith with those in the service.
Pentagon officials are reviewing all areas of the defense budget, and the goal of the review is to “inform the decisions and strategies that we have to make,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Aug. 4.
“So that's going to be key to what decisions we make and what areas we look to for savings,” the secretary added.
In support of the department’s efficiency initiatives, a small group of Defense Business Board members was tasked to develop alternative plans to the current military retirement system. The group briefed its findings and draft recommendations to the full board during their July 21 quarterly meeting. The full board approved the recommendations, and the group will issue a final report by the end of this month.
The Defense Business Board provides DOD’s senior leaders independent advice and recommendations “on effective strategies for the implementation of best business practices on matters of interest to the Department of Defense,” according to Pentagon officials.
Meanwhile, a Pentagon spokeswoman said, officials are reviewing the board’s recommendations.
“Any recommendation to change the military retirement system must be approached with thoughtful analysis, to include considerations of impacts to recruiting and retention,” Eileen Lainez said. “While the military retirement system, as with all other compensation, is a fair subject of review for effectiveness and efficiency, no changes to the current retirement system have been approved, and no changes will be made without careful consideration for both the current force and the future force.”
Article is closed to new comments.
The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.
9/6/2011 4:16:30 PM
Be very careful not to break what ain't broken to try to fix it. Military retirement is not a pension, it is reduced compensation. Don't forget, retired servicemembers aren't on the street, they are in the Retired Reserve, and are subject to involuntary recall up to age 60. Military retirement is a special case for those who are willing to put their lives on the line. I dodged plenty of bullets in Vietnam, was directly exposed to Agent Orange, served many additional years fully ready (and expecting) to have to fight the Soviets in the Fulda gap. Thankfully, I didn't, but I ultimately retired on a service-connected disabillity. I don't regret a thing, but don't break promises you have made to our servicemembers. You lied to me about medical care for life, don't lie to this generation.
- Dave G, Virginia, USA
8/30/2011 1:55:19 PM
I think something is very wrong here!
First let me get my facts straight.
So my spouse signs up for a career in the military and ultimately is willing to give his life for his country,without question and proud of it and all he gets in the end is "0" no retirement. I just want to remind everyone that the 401k is already existence it's called"TSP" which the government is not currently matching.
My husband to date has served over 26 years and 3 deployments to a combat zone.
Just a reminder that the life insurance that was once free to a active duty soldier is not free anymore.
We have to pay for dental insurance for dependents and the commissary is owned by private sector now, so what do we have left??
He deserves more than that!
Proud Air Force Wife!
- Tammy Torres, California
8/28/2011 6:12:26 PM
Anyone that thinks it's cool to reduce a military retirement may be a little off thier rocker. I served my 20 years, two combat tours, 5 humanitarian missions and multiple deployments. I have made the sacrifice many times over. Some of the comments posted here are a bit ignorant. You have Marines and Soldiers deploying to combat for multiple tours these days. I know men that are on thier 6th and 7th combat assignment. I cannot control what this administration does nut there has to be a better way. If they ultimately do decide to mess with the military retirement then it should impact ALL gov't retirements. To bad that probably won't even be considered.
- Don orosz, Missouri
8/20/2011 2:45:52 AM
Anyone insensitive enough to post such a grossly ignorant comment, blatantly stating that retired military and their family are "breaking the budget" by receiving the benefits of their richly earned retirement, ought to be ashamed. Congrats for contributing to your 401k and paying insurance. You clearly haven't wept goodbye to your spouse as he deployed to a faraway, hostile land. You clearly haven't given birth w/o your husband or missed the joy of your child entering the world, been absent from a loved one's funeral, not taken your child to their 1st day of school, gone weeks w/o hearing your spouse's voice, soothed a toddler who woke up calling for daddy or missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. You don't know that this isn't a job. It's a life. It's not just the service member, it's the family too. You're entitled to your opinion. My spouse defends your right to be every day. But have some compassion. My husband deserves his retirement. Period. It's not up for debate.
- DJM, southeast
8/19/2011 1:56:55 PM
The government wants to save money....stop giving it away to other countries! Don't take my retirement. Officers living in $400,000 houses....yep maybe. After saving money from living in tents for 5 years. How about hiring someone to keep units / commanders from blowing millions on BS that they don't need: VTCs on every COLs desk, IT Toys that serve no real purpose but was bought to spend the $20M at the end of the year instead of giving it back. Who hasn't heard this in August "We have hundreds of thousands (or x millions) to spend by the end of the year or we won't get it next year". As an automation officer....I have heard it every year. How about all of those boondoggle TDYs that everyone in the "cool" club goes to so they can golf in Florida, gamble in Vegas, or ski in Colorado? There is plenty of place to reduce the military's budget without hurting the troops.
- Jim Nichols, Hawaii
8/19/2011 12:56:32 PM
Firstly, to the person commenting on $300,000 - 500,000 homes what does that have to do with retirement? I live in Virginia where a $300,000 home is about average/mean price depending on where you live. Most of the retirees, like myself, will still have to get another job when I retire to maintain our current "middle class" life-style. The current retirement is not about "caring for people" its a contract/agreement to lure the 1% of the population who serves and fights our wars to stay in and endure the hardships on oneself and their families. While you were paying your 401K and premiums, you probably have also got to stay in one place for a long time, never leave your family for over a year (multiple times), never put your life on the line, pursue your goals uninterrupted, etc. and lead an overall cushy life.
- S. Price, Virginia
8/18/2011 1:26:59 PM
The way I see it, this is a way for the government to break the lifer cycle. They don't want to have a draft; but after almost 40 years of the All Volunteer Military they have found its costing them more than they predicted. In short it is the corporation mind set make it attractive to get in for a short time but not to stay for 20 years.
As far a the person that stated that he/she was tired of seeing military members living in $400,000 or $500,000 homes they must be officers because I can't see E1- E6 affording these homes.
- steve, midwest
8/18/2011 12:07:17 PM
This is an appalling plan. The Army already has a 401k program. It's called TSP. Any cuts in military pensions should be matched with cuts with the politicians' 100% pension for 10 years service. Some things never change, from Rudyard Kipling's "Tommy":
"You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!"
- Fernandez, Fort Hood, Texas
8/18/2011 11:00:10 AM
If things are going to change for the Military retirement it indeed needs proper planning. When our young soldiers enlist they are told they have lower pay becasue they get housing, dental, medical and retirement. As it is their wages are at poverty level many with families are on living assistance to help feed and clothe their children so wages need to come way up to compensate as it stands to day then if you keeo cutting benefits and retirement would have to be self funded they need at the very least to be paid as civilians are that work for the contractors. My husband's commitment has already experienced "broken faith" on the promises made to him we now have to pay for our own medical and now this. These young men and women put their lives on the line every single day and make sure we have a democratic society so we can elect the very ones that want to take it all away...I am so very afraid of where our country is heading
- Carrie, Nebraska
8/18/2011 10:45:17 AM
I recently wrote my Representative, Chairman House/Senate Armed Service Committee and Ranking Member. Explaining that what is the incentive to do a career miltiary job, unless they are willing to substantialy increase our base pay. I have 14yrs total active service and why stay for 50K per year (with allowances)....?
- SSG S., Kabul, Afghanistan
8/18/2011 9:57:28 AM
The Defense Buisness Board (DBB) in thier study is completly disregarding the sacrifices and hardships today's military faces. The make continued comparisons to the military and corporate workforce, which is apples and oranges. They also fail to realize that after 10 years in the military under the DBB's plan it would make no fiscal sense for the those who work hard, master thier jobs, become well trained (on the military's dime) and those who strive to educate themselves, essentially driving the best and brightest towards more stable better paying jobs.
- SSG V, Overseas
8/18/2011 9:15:13 AM
First off, I'm very much against this "new plan". That being said, many people seem to have the wrong impression. the deposits into the tsp/401k would not come out of your paycheck. It would be deposited by the government at amount equal to a % of your gross income. You could then add to it from your income. For those coming in now and in the future, it would be a great plan. The problems lie in retention. What incentive would there be then to stay 20 years. Starting a second career would be a lot easier at age 30 as opposed to 40.
- SSG N, Oklahoma
8/18/2011 7:49:37 AM
I'm an 18 year E-7. The reason I joined was to get the GI bill and use TA for education. The reason I stayed in was because of the retirement after my time was up. They are currently cutting TA and want to eliminate it in favor of a new GI bill. Now they want to cut our retirement. What incentive is there for anyone to join or stay in if they cut education and retirement. Retention would be nothing if this goes through. Maybe they ought to look at cutting the 100% retirement of congress.
- Twister, Patrick AFB
8/18/2011 3:16:20 AM
To the gov't, DBB, Congress, and any other group considering this plan:
My family member is a dedicated soldier, and I had the extreme misfortune of reading about this outrageous and unjust proposal while we were on leave- needless to say we both felt like we were punched in the gut. All of the sacrifices, worries whether or not my loved one, my BEST FRIEND, will come home alive or in a box, all of the moving, missed milestones etc- all of that we go through for that promise of our retirement. How Dare a group of millionaires and WALL STREET cronies try to take away a very much Deserved pension for a wing and a prayer one (401k).I am well aware the budget constraints- I live w/ that each day. But to compare a military life to a civilian one is a joke. The folks on this joke DBB do not have to suffer the consequences. Please GRANDFATHER those currently serving if a change must come. Do not break faith with those who keep you free and safe.
- Bee, usa
8/18/2011 2:27:01 AM
With 15 yrs in service, and Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, and Afghanistan under my belt, not to include the 30 day training exercises and long hours away from the family in order to make things happen. My family and I are anxious looking forward to our retirement, yes, our retirement, since the family is who suffers and sacrifices the most when we he service members deploy to combat. Now the government is looking to overhaul retirement package. It is understandable that there need to be an overhaul, although, after making cuts in Congress, Senate, and White House, and keeping the last ten years into account, there have been multiple deployments, which should be grandfathered, effectively paying out on retirement date. Service members with less than 10 years would have the option of staying and getting two fourths or better with 10 yrs (plus) in service under the new proposed system.
- CW2 US Army, Afghanistan
8/18/2011 12:50:04 AM
How quickly the civilian leadership forget the days that it was hard to attract and retain good people in the military services. This would be the last straw given the optempo and changes the Navy and DOD had to go through in the last few years. Regardless of the economic uncertainty in this current bad economy, if I were still a junior enlisted or officer I would be voting with my feet and take my chances with the private sector or become self employed somehow. "Not a stable or safe decision" some might say. Neither is the employment or retirement security prospects in the DOD obviously. Too many short sighted bureaucrats and politicians.
- LTJG LDO, Lemoore CA
8/17/2011 11:42:43 PM
As an Active Duty NCO with 15 years invested, I wasn't invited to sit in on this Congressional board. As I understand it, the Active Component isn’t represented at all. If Congress wants to provide a Corporate style retirement, then I think it’s appropriate that they restructure the profession to match: (1) The ability to be stationed where I want for as long as I want. (2) Ability to decline deployment without repercussion. (3) Time and a half after 8 hours of work per day and on weekends. Sounds corporate to me!
- Jayson, Ethically Void, USA
8/17/2011 6:23:38 PM
I have news for the guy who says he can make 4 times the amount that he is making in the military with a civilian job. You will be lucky if you can find a job. I am retired from the Army National Guard. I served on active duty in the Air Force, Navy, and Army. I served 11 years on active duty and 10 years and 9 months in the Guard and Reserves and none of my military service helped me in any way to get a job. I mistakenly thought that when I got an Associates Degree in EET that I could get hired at a job that paid a living wage. My wife divorced me 17 years ago when no one would even interview me. Alas, I finally got a decent job at Intel when my wife was long gone. Intel decided to outsource my job to China in September 2007 so I am back to being in the same boat that I was when my wife divorced me. I certainly could use my SFC (E-7) pay right now. You who serve do deserve your paychecks and more and you deserve your retirement paycheck after 20 years.
- John Austin Martin, Rio Rancho
8/17/2011 3:12:46 PM
If this goes through and we have to contribute 16% of our annual pay to a mandatory TSP 401K, our quality of life will be much lower unless we get a pay increase. So much for being able to support a family. Most of us would have to get out since we can essentially do the same job for 4 times the pay, not have to move, and can still do a 401K.
The retirement benefits is the only thing keeping most of us in. Plus the retirement was in our contracts. Can you say Class-Action Lawsuit? (Once you are out of course)
The other issue you will see is that we will have no senior leadership left in the Military come 5 to 10 years after this passes. New recruits would come in for the education and 401K benefits and get out after 4-5 years.
- SSG, US Army, Iraq
8/17/2011 2:50:42 PM
If they invoke changes to the military retirement system, then they need do to the same to those working in Congress and the White House.
- MJ, Florida
8/17/2011 2:03:17 PM
I have read the board recommendations in regards to the change in retirement system. The point nobody in this blog seems to make is that the 401K plan being forced upon us is tax deferred but not tax free. I would rather have the freedom to invest or have funds matched by the military into a ROTH IRA of some sort where up to $5,000 in annual contributions is tax free. I'm pretty sure tax rates will be higher when I'm 60 then they are now. Not to mention the fact that even the contributions will be taxable in a TSP style 401K account.
- Jeremy Pollock, Washington D.C.
8/17/2011 1:28:16 PM
It is offensive that our Civilian Leaders in Congress are willing to change and attack our military benefits instead of just reversing Bush Tax Cuts and getting what our budget needs right now, income from the Top 1% in America. It is ridiculous to continue trying to balance and/or maintain a budget with the Bush Tax Cuts giving relief to the American's that need it least. The 99% should not continue to suffer and make sacrifices, least of all the military. We are not wealthy people, we protect and defend our way of life, without our military, a SuperPower will soon fail, as history has demonstrated.
- MickDawg, Wash DC
8/17/2011 1:03:31 PM
If Congress does try to change the retirement there should be an option for people to elect the change or stay with the current plan. I have 6 years in currently and 40 months in Iraq, why would I stay for 20 years? To have a wife and child I do not know just for a check after I retire. Give me the option to have something when I am done after 10 years serving. I am saving for in my TSP but does that make me less worthy to have something when I ETS. Let's have a plan to make dollar for dollar like many companies have. Lastly I will say thanks for paying for my Bachelors......graduating 29 Aug.
- SSG, Camp Liberty
8/17/2011 12:29:40 PM
I appreciate the fact that our government and all of the infinite wisdom of the current administration have finally arrived to the fact that we must cut frivolous spending. However, a service members' retirement IS NOT one of them. Why not cut the "Army" NASCAR sponsorship in excess of $29M a year? Although that number is cents compared to the total overall deficit, it is worth considering. Who are these DBB clowns anyway? How many of them have been in our boots? Those that have been in our boots should drop the clown suit and rethink their existence. We have worked an entire career that has been both rewarding and challenging, we have worked hard toward that immediate retirement check every month. Our government expects and receives much from us and our families, we expect to receive our entitlements immediately following retirement; I do believe we have earned it. It is truly the time to resurrect the “New Deal”.
- SFC Scott McBride, South Carolina
8/17/2011 12:10:12 PM
After all they've been through,,,,,,,,Really?????
How is changing plans for current personnel not fraud? To bait people to reenlist for several more years to fight in our longest war in hopes of getting to retirement and then switching the plan? How is preaching something as gospel that is apparently subject to change at any moment not dishonest? Everybody currently serving was promised the current plan and would most likely have found careers elsewhere be it not true
- Tony, Rhode Island
8/17/2011 9:21:45 AM
I hope this does not happen it was a real big sell point for me to join up. I belive one way the DOD could save a huge amount of money is get rid of the Future Soilder program that allows a recruit to go to basic as up to an E-3. Now I know that is an initial cost saving deals but just imagine though that would save down the road. Hell I would willing give up my E-4, I have a bachelors, to be able to keep the 20 year plan. I mean just imagine the money that would be saved if all recruits went as an E-1.
- Caleb Elrod, fredericksburg, TX
8/17/2011 9:13:10 AM
What about all the welfare people who do nothing to get benefits, or even congressess benefit system, I am pissed I can't even believe that they would even think about this. They need to stop spending period. Enough. This is going to gut the military. How about this they get business like GE to pay taxes. How about the 50% of Americans that pay no federal income tax but reap all the benefits from our service. This is what I get for my 20 years to be crapped on by the people we elect.
- Tee, USA
8/17/2011 5:11:48 AM
I find it amazing that civilians deploy us to multiple wars, send us on numerous deployments from family. Then when it comes to money, go after our benefits; our retirement. Some of us who serve didn't have time to get their education while serving due to the higher ops tempo, deployments, manning shortages.....Some were planning on having that paycheck to help while going back to school. Others it might have been for house mortars payments......My son who has terminal illness was hoping to see more of me after I retired, but now I might have to pull multiple jobs because of what? People don't to pay taxes, want everything for free, the federal government should nurse thierry habits? Guess what guys! Freedom is not free! We put our lives on the line, we tell our families that we have to go to keep them safe, while they pled for us not too, with tears of our kids soaking our pants legs! God help us......
- Jeremy, deployed
8/17/2011 12:27:03 AM
It does not take a genius to realize we cannot keep paying huge retirements to retirees. If these men and women live into their 80's and 90's, we will have paid them 2-3 times more than what they earned while they were currently in service. TRICARE's buget is HUGE and growing! Spouses and dependents get care for YEARS/ LIFETIMES! Doesn't everyone wish they could get their meds for free or pay a $3 co pay at Walgreens??? And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Next time I see ladies driving their mini vans up to their $300,000-$ 500,000 homes dropping off their latest purchases , I'll remember I contributed to my 401 K and paid my health insurance monthly premium. Hey, I understand there must be incentives for going into the military, but breaking the budget and caring for people for years has to stop. There needs to be a new plan !!!!!!!!
- Kristen, Colorado Springs
8/17/2011 12:17:36 AM
You expect to keep an all volunteer military if you take away their benifits? The proposed plan does nothing for people with close to 10 years. They cannot contribute to a 401k for all the prior years.
New military can decide if they want to join, but you should grandfather in all members who signed on expecting a pension.
You cant expect so many deployments without upholding the promise that these people joined expecting
- Bill Smithson, NY
8/16/2011 9:27:00 PM
When I first heard if this proposal me and my 500 counterparts in the joint command were furious and ready to get out that day!..its not right that you serve all this time, all of us over 12 years in..to get 30% ..really...how it is fair that out family, children..that we miss birthdays, births, deaths and anything else that come with the territory of supporting our country get miniscule amount of retirement to go and struggle to find another job as soon as u retire..most of us at the age of 45...the board/congress need to think about cutting budgets in other areas and just leave the military alone...because if not there quick be no true military and the world will fall apart..
U.S.Navy..active duty mom of 3
- Alyssa, Texas
8/16/2011 8:15:45 PM
As to the pension changes, who in thier right mind would want to perform a job at less money than thier civilian counterparts for a crappy 401-k plan as a reward for putting your life on the line. when we have crooked political figures who really have screwed this country up beyond recognition who serve one term draw a big fat pension and not be held accoutable to anyone. 401-k's can be found at almost any job and are no reward for sacrifice it would be nothing more than a way to dump more of the savings burden on the military personel who already struggle as it is. this would most certainly end the career soldier as it is today. when the polititions do this first, maybe we can talk about the system changes
- Don Trimble, Bettendorf,Ia
8/16/2011 5:19:28 PM
The military retirement needs to be left alone, don't want to serve 20 yrs?? save up using the TSP
It is very upsetting to think that after all my brothers/sisters in Arms have done for this Nation that they would even consider this.
I, as well as many others have given our youth and best years of our life to our nation under the assumption that we would be compensated for all our hardships. It is crazy to compare what I do and have done to a civilian counterpart.
If this new plan goes into affect I would not be able to receive my retirement until I am 60 years old. That means I would be right back to square one once I got out competing with 20 year old men and women for a second career.
It is not my fault that our government spends more than it makes. I signed on for many reasons one of which was the small retirement. The Active duty Military makes up a small number in our society, at the least we could fulfill the promise made to them when they joined.
- Joe Tharpe, Ranger Camp Florida
8/16/2011 5:08:03 PM
def should not change retirement for those who have been serving already under the current version. Any change like the proposed version presented needs to eased into the service through attrition...new troops joining from "X" date and afterward would be affected. This is drastic; and people sacrifice so much for that little retirement, which they see as a benefit to staying in and puttin up with it all. To take that away from those who have already crossed that point withint their career may not be ilegal per-say, but it would be very unethical. Sure there may be some slight positives to a version of the proposed plan, but overall it is bad business to force that on invested "employees".
- Tom, Azores
8/16/2011 4:53:11 PM
I think some people are just reading the first sentence and breathing a sigh of relief. If you read this and interpret it in "political mode," it's still smells funny. If you take the time to read the study by the DBB their idea of grandfathered is not up to par. They are talking about giving those currently with 10 yrs TIS only 25% of their base pay. That's also for the top 5 instead of 3 years. This would likely equate to earning less than half of what you've planned on making. That's not good if you have to try to make up for that in possibly only 10 years. Your remaining years would fall under the civilian style 401k. I think a pay freeze would be more appropriate rather than changing retirements at the last minute. This congress is a complete budget failure and we're going to take the fall. Enjoy, and remember this at election time.
- Royal E. Scrude, Washington D.C.
8/16/2011 4:24:44 PM
If ony the CJCS had the power to prevent any change or grandfather those effected by a change. That power lies soley with congress not the dod
- GM, tx
8/16/2011 3:34:50 PM
Keep the current retirement system in place for everyone already on active duty!
However, OK to start a 401K system in the future but only for new recruits, NOT for anyone who signed up under the (old) current military retirement system.
- Sam, San Diego
8/16/2011 3:25:46 PM
I too hope they grandfather in those individials who are already enlisted. After all many individuals make the choice to sacrifice so much not only for their country but for their futures. It would be a slap in the face to serve for so many years and sacrifice so much and then not get the benefits you were sold when you enlisted. Thank you for listening.
- Lisa, Virginia
8/16/2011 2:52:14 PM
Before the President, Congress, or the Senate make a mess of the military retirement system, they really need to sort out what is really important. Any reduction to pay and retirement benefits should start at the top (President's pay) and work down through the unearned pay that both Congress and the Senate receive. Afterall, it is the Congress and the Senate that are the major problems with their costly pork barrel & mark-ups that keep the country bankrupt.
- GP, Minot ND
8/16/2011 2:00:50 PM
He's at the stage now where we're counting down the years. If the "least bad" plan passes we'll have 3 teenagers to support & the income we had counted on won't be there to help. Hopefully they'll grandfather all currently enlisted or we'll end up being in for 30 (which will still give us 2 years to scrimp before the money starts hitting).
- Army wife, TRADOC
8/16/2011 1:34:12 PM
I know, I would get out in a heartbeat if they did not allow us to be "Grandfathered". Im at 13 years already, What is the point in putting in my 20 if I am not going to be able to start collecting a check?
- Jeff , SWAB
8/16/2011 1:24:34 PM
As a current Active Duty soldier with almost 19 years in service, I'm scared to death about these proposals by the DBB. Just when I've reached the downhill slope of my Army career, I now have to face the possibility that I'll only receive a fraction of the already small 50% base pay retirement money I've been working for all these years. Hopefully those considered for "grandfathering" will include those who have at least 15 years' service as of the date changes are made. I don't have anything against benefits for those short-term soldiers who serve their 3-4 years then leave, or the mid-grade personnel with 10+...I'm glad considerations are being made to provide them with benefits after service, but those of us who have been in over 15 have had that 20 year retirement money in our sights for a long time. PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME!
- Scared of Losing, New Jersey
8/16/2011 12:52:11 PM
- Michael Cole, Norfolk
8/16/2011 11:18:30 AM
How come civilian pensions are not on the table? I would also think our elected officials would want to lead by example and cut their pensions first?
- Mel , washington, dc
8/16/2011 10:55:43 AM
Our military are still meeting and keeping these promises and will continue to meet evil head-on but again to what cost to be further endured off the backs of our brave. If they grandfather the existing force and instill this new proposal to new recruits then I believe panic will be bypassed within the forces i.e.: mass termination of contracts, retention/experience lost beyond cope. However; the force again will be weak, certainly not as strong and thought upon as a force to recon with as on a global stance. I plead to Congress, and the American people, please think very deeply prior to making any rash decisions, money affects the nation and the people to react, it will certainly cause the military personnel to react also.
Master Sergeant, USAF.
- Kenton, overseas
8/16/2011 10:52:57 AM
I am in the military, currently over 22yrs, if this proposed plan goes through to affect all our current military personnel then I firmly believe the military, the government, and the American people of this great nation will suffer greatly. If you think our economic problems are bad now...wait and see how this country develops with a shotty, ineffective military. What is to maintain one to continue the hardships encountered and currently endured for 20 years or beyond? Retention, training of new troops, experience gained and lessons learned to be lost and to what cost will that toll? When our servicemen sign their lives to the service/good of the American nation/people no matter what the cost to be endured, weather that is deployments, family separation or the ultimate sacrifice a promise has been stated, an agreement was made between our service members and our government to fulfill these obligations without hesitation.
Continued below due to character limitation.
- Kenton, overseas
8/16/2011 10:06:50 AM
Why would a Soldier, and their family for that matter, want to endure the hardships and stress of being on “Active duty” to collect their retirement benefits at 65, when they could go Guard or Reserve, stay in one location their entire career, do a quarter of the work (when not deployed), concurrently hold a Civilian job building up a second 401K, and then get their DoD retirement at 65 too? Let's see: Build up one retirement plan on Active Duty or build up two retirement plans in the Guard and Reserve with less than half the stress on a Soldier and their family.
True and Active Duty retiree can get a second job and start another 401k but the Guard and Reserve guy has been pumping up his civilian 401k for the bast 20+ years
- S. Price, Virginia
8/16/2011 10:06:40 AM
Why do people think that someone who does less than 20 years in the service recives nothing but a pat on the back if they get out? After 3 years of service, they ALL are qualified for the Post 9-11 GI Bill which can amount to well over $100,000 in tuition and housing allowance. This means no loans, no starving student routine and an enducation at the highest priced public university in their home state. This is more than enough compensation for not making the military a career.
- Manuel, Monroe, MI
8/16/2011 9:48:00 AM
How will this affect the Reserve and National Guard? I hope that all current military will be grandfathered.
- Patti Miller, North Carolina
8/16/2011 9:38:16 AM
Many military people go into the service at a young age (18-24). On of the 'big' selling points being not only training available, but the fact that you can retire after 20 years. If you ask people to put their life on the line to protect our country it is the least we can do for them.
- Dee Seeber, Virginia
8/16/2011 9:36:15 AM
I believe that current members if the Military should be grandfathered as well. We Military members are a select few, who have sacrificed not only ourselves, but the livelyhood of our families in the process. I get tired of when ever there is a cut to be made, Soldiers are the first targets. The decision makers need to realize that the American Soldier is a valued asset. But at the same time, we can not just quit if we don't like the way we are treated. We have no Union to appeal to, and who would want one anyway. Leaders just need to realize that being a Soldier, is not your everyday 9-5 job!!!
- Steve, washington dc
8/16/2011 9:08:07 AM
Please consider carefully before adopting the recommendations. My husband had been serving his country for 18 years. We have made decisions over the years based on the promise of his retirement pay. Please make sure current troops are GRANDFATHERED in to the current system!
- Becky C, Fort Sill, OK
8/16/2011 8:40:02 AM
Any changes without a grandfathering system would be a serious travesty and dis-service to all those that have given of themselves and their families over the past decade (plus or minus). This statement is reassuring and I hope the military officials and politicians hold to it. Not only do we deserve nothing less, but the future of the military depends upon it.
- Diana M,, Groton, CT
8/16/2011 8:17:21 AM
Speaking as Active Duty Army, I can tell you I do see a need for a retirement restructure. Since the early 90's, retirees have outnumbered active duty and reserve forces. That's a lot of money to keep paying. The plans we read about were outrageous, but there definitely needs to be a change.
I would like to see some of that savings come to those on active duty in the form of base pay increases.
I believe the most important aspect is this: begin managing your money responsibly upon entry into the service. We may not make much, but handled responsibly we make enough to have a nice living. My family and I are proof of that.
- Mike, US Army
8/16/2011 7:58:06 AM
Fact: NO civilian job offers life benefits to employees that work for relatively short periods of time and then quit. These two facts have been misrepresented as being not true and represent the only opposing points presented by this business board other than needing to save tax payer's money. If recommendation contained in this proposal manages to become law, it will not achieve fiscal savings, but only result in gutting and dismantling the military across all branches of service.
- Ed, Iraq
8/16/2011 7:56:12 AM
I have read the recommendations by the Business Board members and approved by the full board. I have to say that either the board members are One, ignorant in respect to the very sensitive subject concerning the military's human resources and the continued security of our great nation or Two, have self-serving ulterior motives wrought full of wanton greed. This report contains only unwarranted, baseless comparisons cloaking the true nature of this group/administration. Fact: The aspect of military work/life cannot EVER be compared in relation to civilian work/life.
- Ed, Iraq
8/16/2011 7:41:07 AM
Curious to know how much would be saved if members of congress set the example and revised their 100% pensions after serving only one term in office.
- TJ Batchelor, OKC, OK
8/16/2011 4:07:27 AM
Soldiers that serve less than 20 do get compensation; 1. Premium education bennifits for themselves and or there family members, 2. Valuable experience and training for potential future civilian occupations. 3. Zero cost education bennifit while on duty that does not take away form post service bennifits, 4. The advantage in itself of being a vetran for job preference for local state and federal goverment job openings. I don't believe soldiers need more than that. If we want to make soldeirs save money to prepare them for transitioning after enlistments, I'm all for it. How ever, don't push the burden of soldiers erning there own pension off a crappy market system that is driven by fear and speculation and not on the growth and trade of groduct produced by our country. Pensions should be driven by the productivity and groeth of the employer you work for . A buisness, of any kind succeeds when employees are vested said buisness.
- Craig Starr, Afghanistan
8/16/2011 3:17:57 AM
Sure your done with us we served our purpose, so just take from us!
If you need to take from the defence budget how about looking at all the civilians who are in Iraq and Afghanistan getting twice as much or more than their Military counterparts.
- Robert, Afghanistan
8/16/2011 2:07:34 AM
One of the powers of Congress is to maintain an Army. However, if they are thinking about "adjusting" the retirement system as a way to help balance the budget, I suggest they think very carefully about what they're thinking about doing. Yes not everyone in the Military does 20-plus years, however thoes that do look foreward to having some sort of pension when they retire. Now, I will say that thoes who have not done 20 should get something. The military's equivelant to a 401(K) isn't a bad idea.
- Shawn McFadden, Killeen, Texas
8/16/2011 1:57:47 AM
First slide show I read didn't have anything on the current folks like me over 20 years already...was ready to drop papers last week. Now there are plenty of statements out there about "grandfathering", so I hope that's the case. I'm at 27 now and don't plan on quitting anytime soon. Far as I've read elsewhere, if you're over 20 already, you'll get what the system would give you today. I also agree with the other post...not ALL bad for those who served but chose before 20 to leave with nothing.
15 "E", 12 "O" so far...
- Brian, Guam
8/16/2011 12:37:56 AM
I am glad that they decided to post his article on the actual nature of the new recommended retirement plan. Initially reading the new retirement proposal made my blood boil. I would carefully ask all those involved with this new strategic plan to carefully review and consider the US Military as the last budget reduction after they cut their financial wages first (house, congress, senate, etc. I would ask they lead by example). My brothers and sisters-in-arms have paved and some have given the ultimate sacrifice. Our retirement if achieved honorably is a start to what is truly deserved to us....as guardians of this free country. I understand that economic failure has pushed our country to seek budget cost at every crossroad, but seriously!!!! Our Soldiers???
- Proudly Serving, St Louis, MO
8/15/2011 9:50:56 PM
As an Army wife & SAHM to homeschooled children I appreciate careful analysis of the retirement system. My husband grew up Army from birth so at his 20 he is ready to put down some roots for the first time in his life. We love our country & honored to serve her but I want my husband & many others to receive what they have been giving so much up for.
- Lisa Nagley, Honolulu, HI
8/15/2011 9:43:14 PM
Seems a bit unreal to me that the nation has sent us to costly wars the last decade and we didn't complain and that upon return when the economy sours our retirement annutiy is being targeted for cuts. For me personally (O-3, '05 USMA Grad, '10 FSU MBA, 2x deployments as a MEDEVAC pilot), I love to serve but there is no way I would stay under the new proposed DBB plan where you can't draw retirement benefits until age 57-60. Think you will see a mass exodus of young talent jumping to the civilian sector (myself included) if current service members are not granfathered in. I can see coming in as a new recruit/officer knowing the terms of the new 401k type plan but to convert current service members to the new plan just seems morally bankrupt. Either way, looking forward to a decision soon to know whether or not to stay in or PCS to Corporate America.
- Joshua Connor, Fort Bliss, TX
8/15/2011 9:32:15 PM
I agree, it would be unfair to not grandfather the service members already expecting their retirement after 20+ faithful years of service to the country.
- Christopher, Jacksonville Florida
8/15/2011 9:31:52 PM
Revamp of the reserve retirement system. Considering the OPTEMPO since 2001, a reservist, I would say has deployed at least twice and more if you have volunteered. Dwell time is now only a year. After 20 good years one should receive retirement pay. I just retired with over 34 years of active duty and reserve time. I have to wait 6 more years to start receiving retirement. I deployed twice with a total time away from my family of almost 3 years. I guess want I am trying to say is reservists are spending a lot of time down range. Slices of my unit as well as the my entire battalion have deployed to every military action since the first Gulf War. I know there have been bills that have been passed around congress concerning changing the retirement age to 55 or the 20 good years that never made it any where. There is enough waste in government and billions given to foreign governments when we need to help our own. Help the ones protecting this nation: The Citizen Soldier!
- Barry McRae, North Carolina
8/15/2011 8:10:31 PM
Mr. Moss, those that fail to serve 20 years make that choice. Those that are medically retired do receive benefits.
- Paul, Virginia
8/15/2011 8:09:43 PM
All service members alaready have the option to contribute to a TSP. The mandatory TSP vs 20 year retirement is a poor trade off unless the intent is to save money instead of balance what's best for the military with fiscal responsibility. Instead, why don't they incentivize those serving less than 20 by matching their voluntary contributions.
This shouldn't even be considered without grandfathering all serving now, or at least those with 10 or more years in service. It's pretty late to move the goalposts for those already in service for a decade....especially since the last 10 years have seen multiple deployments and combat rotations.
- Bryan, NC
8/15/2011 5:21:11 PM
This is not all bad. I'm sure vets who served fewer than 20 years would appreciate getting something.
- B Moss, Washington, DC
8/15/2011 4:07:22 PM
I would hope they will grandfather all current military members into the exsisting retirement plan
- Nicole, Recruiting Duty - B'ham, AL
Week in Photos 5/11 - 5/17