Well Ollie, this could well be another mess you've gotten us into! Some of the ideas seem ok - however, the change in the retirement system is not. Comparing the military to the federal employees - well, read and make your own judgement.
Guess we will have to see what Congress does.
No retirement pay before age 57?
Panel also recommends combining active, reserve retirement systems
By William H. McMichael - firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted : February 11, 2008
A congressionally chartered commission has called for scrapping the entire military retirement system and making active-duty troops wait until at least age 57 to begin drawing retired pay.
The proposal, which would spell the end of the current active-duty system that pays nondisability retirement immediately after a service member completes a minimum of 20 years of service, is among 95 recommendations in the final report of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserve, which went well beyond its original charter to review the structure and management of the reserve components and delved into personnel policies for active-duty members.
Under current retirement rules, an active-duty member is eligible for retired pay immediately after completing a minimum of 20 years of service, which can be as young as age 37. However, reservists must wait until age 60 to draw retired pay, although a law signed Jan. 28 by President Bush allows reservists to draw retired pay 90 days earlier than age 60 for every 90 days of mobilization in support of a contingency operation.
Under the commission’s plan, a revamped retired system would grant limited retirement benefits starting at 10 years of service, although payments would not begin until age 62. Those who serve at least 20 years could receive payments at age 60; those who serve 30 years could get them at age 57.
Under the plan, troops could begin drawing retirement pay at earlier ages, but the annuity would be reduced 5 percent for each year that a member is under the statutory minimum retirement age.
The commission said that would bring the military in line with the Federal Employees Retirement System.
The commission concluded that combining the training, promotion and management of active and reserve troops into one integrated manpower system is the only way the nation’s military can become a truly efficient operational force for the future.
“The increasing cost of personnel, and the challenges of recruiting and retaining qualified individuals, will, we believe, inevitably require reductions in the size of the active force,” states the 432-page report, released Jan. 31. “This shrinking active force will necessarily be accompanied by an increased reliance on reserve forces for operations, particularly for homeland missions. The overall effectiveness of those forces will depend on greater integration of the reserves with the active component.”
The commission argued that modifying the 20-year retirements would give the services an incentive to retain troops whom they want to keep for more than 10 years but for less than 20. Additional pay or bonuses would be needed to keep such troops in uniform beyond 10 years to maintain retention rates.
“As part of the reformed retirement system, retention would be encouraged by making service members eligible to receive ‘gate pay’ at pivotal years of service,” the report says. “Such pay would come in the form of a bonus equal to a percentage of annual basic pay at the end of the year of service, at the discretion of the services.”
MATCHING FUNDS FOR TSP
In addition, the report says Congress should expand current law to permit all service members to receive up to 5 percent of annual basic pay in matching government contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan. Service members currently receive no government matching funds for TSP contributions.
“The government’s contribution would vest at 10 years of service, and the Thrift Savings Plan benefit would be portable and thus capable of being rolled over into a civilian 401(k) account,” the report says.
Among the report’s other recommendations:
• The military’s promotion system should be competency-based versus time-based.
• Active and reserve officer personnel management systems should be merged into a single system.
• The number of duty statuses should be reduced from 29 to two — on active duty or off.
• The Defense Department should implement a combined pay and personnel system to eliminate problems with incorrect pay, low data quality, multiple personnel files and inaccurate accounting of credit for service.
• The Guard and reserve should be given the clear lead in Defense Department homeland security missions within U.S. borders.
The recruiting and job market landscape has shifted in dramatic ways, the commission said, which means the Defense Department “must recruit, train and maintain a technologically advanced force in an era that will be characterized by ever-increasing competition for a shrinking pool of qualified individuals whose expectations about career paths and mobility are changing dramatically.”
“We need to look at our manpower assets with a totally integrated approach,” commission Chairman Arnold Punaro said.
For active and reserve service members, such a system would create a “seamless” transition to and from active duty — “on-ramps” and “offramps,” as Navy personnel officials have described the concept. Basing promotions on competency rather than time would keep troops competitive within the system.
The 95 recommendations in the report also include a call for the reserves to be reorganized into two formal categories: operational and strategic reserve forces.
The operational reserve would consist of Selected Reserve units and individual mobilization augmentees who would deploy periodically. The strategic reserve would include Selected Reserve personnel and augmentees not scheduled for rotational active-duty tours and the “most ready, operationally current and willing members of the Individual Ready Reserve,” the report says.
The commission also calls for scrapping the Standby Reserve category and said members who are not “viable mobilization assets should be excluded from the total reserve force.”
The Defense Department would have to consistently provide the support needed to ensure the sustained viability of both forces, and Congress and the Pentagon would determine the missions each would perform.
“There used to be an understanding that if you were ready for the away game, you were ready for the home game,” Punaro said. “Most everyone admits that’s not the case anymore. We need a very ready force at home in peacetime, just like we need a ready force for the overseas mission.”
The reserves were conceived as a strategic force that would be called to active duty only in national emergencies. But they have morphed over the past 18 years, beginning with the 1991 Persian Gulf War and spurred by the military drawdown of the 1990s, into an operational reserve that is now regularly called upon to meet the demands of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It’s clear that if you hadn’t had an operational Guard and reserve, you would have had to go back to the draft, which I think everyone agrees is ... pretty unacceptable,” Punaro said.
Punaro is “very bullish” on the prospects for the commission’s work to receive serious attention.
Half of the 95 recommendations “can be done immediately,” he said. About 40 will require congressional or presidential action, according to the report.
retired and still having fun
Those who served in the 1960s may well remember when the head of DOD once said that the American tax payer would one day complain about the military 20-year retirement system. He proposed something close to what you have in your post. In his program, however, you started to draw your retirement check at the age of 65. What was not mentioned is that those who crunch numbers noted that the average retired enlisted person died at the age of 55. Isn't it interesting how all this works?
I believe what stopped the 1960s program was the Vietnam War continued to drag on. The program you posted probably will not have a chance during an election year that troops are still fighting. Afterwards, who knows? However, I think it is coming unless the armed forces gets some real advocate for them, and by this I mean some political power.
If that passes congress will have to fight the wars cause the military will cease to exist.
Taking away the retirement pay after 20 years of service is just insane. A lot of us came in at a young age so we could retire young and enjoy what is left of our lives without worrying about work. That's one of the perks that make people want to come in. IMHO
Maybe the draft will be brought back. Or maybe Congress can out-source national defense to the lowest bidder. Maybe this is another example of this country going to h@ll in a hand basket.
Or maybe this is a stupid idea.
If that passes I will get out and will not look back....I mean are you kidding me...I hope others feel the same and when they see others getting out with time invested maybe they will rethink.
More on this topic in this thread.
I'm sure that everyone currently serving would be grandfathered just like all the changes that were made in 1987. It would only effect new enlistees and officers, who would know this prior to joining.
Unfortunately, there won't be much public out cry about this, since every other cooporation is either doing away with benefits for their current retirees or cutting pensions out totally. I'm not saying it's right, but that's the times we're living in.
The draft won't solve the problem. You can draft someone for 3 or 4 years but without a decent retirement system they're not going to stay and make it a career. Putting up with the dangers & hassles (deployments, transfers, etc.) for 20 or 30 years just won't be worth it.
"Put me down! Put me down! Where are you taking me? Why am I in this basket"?
"If" this happens, I hope they do the same thing to our congressmen.
Members of Congress are not eligible for a pension until they reach the age of 50, but only if they've completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62. Please also note that Member's of Congress have to serve at least 5 years to even receive a pension.
Put your American troops in danger, deploy them often, and don't pay their pension immediatly after 20 years.
OK people will get out of the military, who will fight our wars, draft is one option, but draft dodgers will go to Canada,
THAT IS THE MOST STUPID THING I'VE HEARD IN A LONG TIME
Complain to your Congress people and Senators,
Why does George Bush get a pension for life, and NOT the military.
That is the most stipid thing I've ever heard! Men and Women put their lives on hold and serve 20 years and they don't get a pension until age 57? congress serves 8 years and gets a pension
What's wrong with this picture?
There is absolutely no way to compare the civilian sector to the military UNLESS they make the pay scales equal. Do you suppose they will do that/ And what civilian job requires testing to advance?
The U.S. Merchant Marine requires testing to advance.
I have to test for advancement and interview. My performance appraisal is also taken into consideration.
There are actually a lot of jobs out here that require this.
Those in the medical field require continuing education/requalification and testing every year to keep their jobs, never mind advancing.
"A congressionally chartered commission has called for scrapping the entire military retirement system and making active-duty troops wait until at least age 57 to begin drawing retired pay."
Complain to Congress about their commission, and never pass up an chance to blame it on/bash the President.
Dennis Noble wrote, "I think it is coming unless the armed forces gets some real advocate for them, and by this I mean some political power."
Now more than ever, I think if there was just one reason to vote for McCain, this is it. We know Hillary hates the military and Obama seems to wear similar stripes. At least McCain is retired military and the son and grandson of naval officers. He understands in a way that neither of the democrats can....
-Forums Admininstrator (7/24/2010)
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