Senators considering military retirement review
Published: May 25, 2012
WASHINGTON – Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee again broached the topic of major changes to military retirement payouts in their draft of the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill, finalized Thursday. Thus far, the idea has gotten a unhappy response from veterans groups.
The legislation calls for a new commission to “review elements of military compensation and retirement benefits to ensure the long-term viability of the all-volunteer force, enable a high quality of life for military families, and to modernize and achieve sustainability of the compensation and retirement systems.” The committee released few other details, but did note that current troops and retirees would be not be affected by any changes.
White House officials asked for the commission last fall as a way to provide more targeted and more versatile benefits to troops and veterans.
But veterans groups have protested that and similar retirement overhaul ideas for months, worried that any such effort would confuse servicemembers and not properly compensate their sacrifice.
Last summer, veterans advocates lashed out at a Defense Business Board proposal which would have adapted the military retirement system to more closely mirror civilian 401(k) retirement plans. Since then, that idea has faded away.
House officials did not include the commission in their version of the annual defense authorization bill, so it remains to be seen whether the proposal will survive in the final compromise legislation.