ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on August 10th, 2010 at 3:02 am

US Government Trying To Find Ways to Cut US Military Retirement Benefits

» by in: US Military

Well the suits in Washington, DC are still busy trying to find a way to screw military members out of their retirement:

The military retirement system is unsustainable and in dire need of repair, according to an influential Pentagon advisory board.The Defense Business Board — tasked by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to find ways to reduce the DOD budget — says annual Treasury Department payments into the system will balloon from $47.7 billion this year to $59.3 billion by 2020.

The 25-member group of civilian business leaders suggests that the Defense Department look at changing the current system, even hinting at raising the number of years troops must serve before being eligible for retirement pay.

The current system “encourages our military to leave at 20 years when they are most productive and experienced, and then pays them and their families and their survivors for another 40 years,” committee chairman Arnold Punaro told board members at their quarterly meeting late last month.  (…………)

As a possible fix, the review recommended the DOD test a plan that would calculate retirement pay based on a servicemember’s time in service and salary. The benefit would be payable at age 57 for those with 20 years of service and at 60 for those with less than 20 years. Under the plan, in which troops would be vested after 10 years, the DOD would annually contribute up to 5 percent of basic pay to the servicemembers’ retirement, similar to many civilian business plans.  [Stars & Stripes]

Read the rest of the article at the link, but the article also brings up a 30 year retirement as well.   I would not stay in for retirement under any of those plans and I know many other people who would not either.  As was mentioned in the article the military is not a civilian job due to the deployments, living conditions, and toll on your body after 20 years. With such hardships there has to be light at the end of the tunnel for people making this profession a career and after multiple deployments 30 years of service is just too long for someone with a wife to put up with and will likely choose to get out.

Also notice that the article is once again quoting Nathaniel Fick who I posted about before on his efforts to cut US military retirement benefits.  What is going on is that the politicians use these think tank types as trial balloons to see what the public reaction will be. They are trying to see if they can gain steam with this issue.  The way I look at it is if Congress thinks the military benefits are too high and a drain on the federal budget, than why don’t they advocate for cuts in benefits for the entire government civilian workforce?  Shared sacrifice.  By the way remember that while the government in Washington is busy trying to take retirement benefits from US servicemembers these same people are busy buying military equipment that the Pentagon has repeatedly says it does not want.

Tags: ,
  • Hans Brinker
    10:09 pm on August 9th, 2010 1

    The founding fathers repeatedly warned against the evils of a maintaining a fully manned standing army in peacetime. Their vision was to maintain state militias that could be raised whenever the war klaxon sounded that would quickly do its job for duty, honor and country, return home to be demoblized to a civilian peacetime existence as they turned swords into plowshares. This has been the model of our nation's military and the characterization of serving one's country from the inception of our nation starting at Valley Forge, to a high point during WW2, until the end of the draft in 1973 after Vietnam.

    Today We have not only become complacent, we are depriving citizens of their duty — and right — to serve their country in times of war through compulsory military service for all able-bodied males, a.k.a. the "draft". The founding fathers established a system that enabled every state to raise a militia — what became to be known as the National Guard or citizen soldiers — that every male citizen was a member of, which would muster in times of national emergency or war. The savings to the nation is obvious — for every full-time active duty soldier, the nation can support five national guardsmen/reservists.

    Instead, we've opted to maintain a huge national defense overhead playing "Global Cop/World Police" extraordinaire to the rest of the world that is now not only draining our nation's coffers dry to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a day required to just maintain our active-duty forces around the world, but also the costs born of a defunct military retirement system to which we've kidded ourselves was sustainable (hell, social security is supposed to dry up within a decade or so — how do the military retirees playing golf all day think they'll fare, especially those who "double dip" — receive SS payments on top of their retirement check?

    Couple these defunct notions associated with maintaining a full-time professional army, along with a foolhardy, poorly conceived post-WW2 economic model based on the antiquated notion of using the Military Industrial Complex along with Congress' complicity to fuel the national economy, and voila, you are not only on a collision course with destiny, we've created a system, a military, that the founding fathers wouldn't even recognize as associated with this country.

    Our founding fathers did not envision a huge Prussian-style professional officer corps or large garrisons of professional soldiers consuming precious national resources while chomping at the bit like pit bulls in heat. Instead, our founding fathers envisioned a small standing army, that could be augmented with a nation full of trained guardsmen and reservists at a moment's notice. This had political checks and balances as well. Requiring time for call up and muster, required that cooler heads prevailed — both politically and diplomatically — when calling the nation to arms. The problem with a huge standing army or "911" force, if you will, is that our nation's leaders are too quick on the drop, too quick to deploy our nation's military for any and every reason whatsoever, without exhausting other means.

  • Chris In Dallas
    10:25 pm on August 9th, 2010 2

    "I would not stay in for retirement under any of those plans and I know many other people who would not either."

    Which may be the idea!

    Something I noticed in the Army the majority of those nearing or at retirement had seen their careers peak. If they hadn't already been turned down for promotion, they knew it was coming. If we add more years before service members can retire, the current retention/promotion system will need to change so careers don't top out around the 20 year mark. Either that or allow those who have maxed out can linger long enough to retire. If this doesn't happen, I could see some serious problems in maintaining an adequate force of mid-level leaders.

  • Jackson
    10:29 pm on August 9th, 2010 3

    I say that the Federal Reserve system is unsustainable and in dire need of repair.

  • chosunking
    11:40 pm on August 9th, 2010 4

    In some cities 1/3 the budget goes to pay pension plans and health IS unsustainable…look at California.,.,,,,

    And you'd say to me…."Look Dumbass, I served my country etc etc, faithfully etc and I have a contract that the government WILL provide for me and I expect them to honor their commitment"

    And I 'd say. Sir. Thank you for your service to our country, I really mean it BUT we, you know the people, just can't afford to pay what we promised. We are broke…

    and that is the reality…hell, they may even have to cut SS benefits…..

    There is no GOOD solution.. A lot of folks are going to get screwed.

  • Tom
    12:06 am on August 10th, 2010 5

    "We are broke…"


  • Bones
    1:02 am on August 10th, 2010 6

    How can any country be broke, when they make the money that is considered

    legal tender?

    I will not be broke, If I say "This you will use"

  • chosunking
    1:10 am on August 10th, 2010 7

    An image comes to mind of a German during the 20's, with a wheel barrow full of German marks, worthless….

  • Kongo
    12:20 pm on August 10th, 2010 8

    Bones it may come as a surprise to you and many others that the US government does not have the authority to make or print money. That job is left to the Federal Reserve, which is about as Federal as Federal Express is.

  • Leon LaPorte
    12:36 pm on August 10th, 2010 9

    Don't worry Tom We'll manage some how. Perhaps we can start by seize and nationalizing all the Korean factories and businesses in the US. :razz:

  • gerry301
    1:16 pm on August 10th, 2010 10

    59 billion in retirement benefits for those who have stayed in for at least twenty years, while the current administration just flushed one "trillion" dollars down the drain to bailout banks and financial institutions who mismanaged their money. While a bill for 26 billion dollars to keep teachers at work when the economy calls for their being let go, for teachers union votes. While hundreds of billions are being spent on make work programs for political gain all around the country?

    Politics at its worst is to deprive those who have earned their benifits to give to those who have done nothing, and demand an equal share for doing nothing.

  • Retired GI
    1:21 pm on August 10th, 2010 11

    #4 chosunking, How nice to know that my twenty years of service mean so very much to you. I have lived in conditions that you WOULD NOT live in. At a pay that you would not except. Working my 10-12 hour days doing mostly pointless work for those often that would not be able to be in command on the outside. But there were the payoff events that made it worth the piss-poor conditions of barracks life and the low pay.

    I truly amazes me when the feds decide they need to save money and look directly at the low payed military types and their retirement.

    Instead they should look in the mirror at their own six figure incomes. Yea, like that will ever happen.

    I get 50% of my active duty pay. Those that came in a couple years later than I, if memory serves, get around 35%. Am I right gi korea?

    My buddy in Atlanta retired a Staff Sergeant and his HUGE retirement check is $1,300.00. He now works at the Post Office making three times that.

    You think 1300 is too much? Maybe you should check and see what a Congressman gets for sitting on his fat asss. Then check and see what that same Congressman gets when he/she retires.

    Hell, check what the Postal Worker retires with. They sure have it better than enlisted in the Military.

    Perhaps you should stop thinking about the Germans of the 20s, pull your nose out of the history book and do some research on what 20 years in the Military is like and what it cost an individual. Physically and Mentally. Then check what most of them/us take home each month when we retire. (I'm not talking about those over payed officers and worthless Sergeants Major.) They are nearly as bad as Congressmen.

    When Congress takes a pay cut, I will be happy to join at the same percentage.

    Untill then, I will keep my $1400.00 along with my 10% for a torn up knee from running 2 miles three days a week for 20 years.

    20 worthless, thankless years from what you say.

    What was it the Chinese say about maintaining a standing military? None of you know do you— Sad.

    Thank you for letting me know what Civilians really think about Military people.

    Perhaps my loyalty was misplaced, along with faith in the country I served.

    It seems that Americans care more about those sucking up welfair than those that served the country.

    Typical Americans. Throw the used up people to the side.

    That Congressman needs his/her pay raise.

    Here is a novel idea: Stop supporting other countries. Na. Kick the retired military off their retired pay. It is so huge, afterall. Let me know how that works out for you in twenty years when you MUST draft in order to have a military. Forget that one weekend a month chit also.

    American Government breaks faith with the retired military and you will see your hope and change. We will need money then—and be pissed. How does that "image" work for you?

    Sleep tight tonight.

  • JoeC
    1:36 pm on August 10th, 2010 12

    I hope we don't forget that some of the most outrageous proposals to short change veterans and pre-veterans (stop-loss) came from the we-support-the-troops Rumsfeld group.

  • Mike
    1:54 pm on August 10th, 2010 13

    Check out the linky…~

    This d-bag Punaro made several million dollars last year…..what for the punchline….while drawing Major General reitred pay.

  • Tom
    2:30 pm on August 10th, 2010 14

    I support the US government to cut off all the lazy useless welfare receiving former barrack dwellers. Now they have to get a real job and pay taxes like rest of normal Americans which by the way are preciously few.

  • Villain
    3:01 pm on August 10th, 2010 15

    This is not the first time this issue has surfaced. I can remember back in the late 1970s they wanted to make it so that you could retire at 20 years, but not collect any compensation until age 65.

  • Dave
    3:15 pm on August 10th, 2010 16

    I am in total agreement with what retired GI wrote. Look at as pay chart and an E-6 over twenty makes more than a 1lt each month, but as soon as that 1lt hits the year mark, he's making more. That's how it was in 1990. Don't know what it's like now. But us enlisted were peons and we are continually treated like that when we retire. How may decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes or seconds, did they Congressmen serve ?????

  • Dave
    3:17 pm on August 10th, 2010 17

    Couple typos in my addition. Should say Look at a pay chart and did those Congressmen serve.

  • Jinrodukkohbi
    3:35 pm on August 10th, 2010 18

    Ummm – Tom?? Remind us again of when and where you served so that you are qualified to make your (moronic) remarks…?!?

  • Tom Langley
    5:38 pm on August 10th, 2010 19

    I am already retired so none of these stupid ideas will affect me(hopefully). But as has already been said no one in their right mind would put up with all the crap that you have to put up with in the military if you had to wait until you were 57 or 65 or 30 years. Any one who thinks so please enlist and do a 3 or 4 year hitch and then comment. I do have a son who is serving in The Navy on a sub and I know if he had to wait 30 years on a can below the ocean that there is no way that he would stay in.

  • chosunking
    10:32 pm on August 10th, 2010 20

    Retired Gi…

    Was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Korea for three years and taught for the University of Hawaii Education Program where i taught, wait for it, American soldiers CLEP and GED classes..taught, even at a remote Hawk missile battery back in the 70' don't get all pissy with me.. i have been in contact with "your kind" before…that THEY are the only ones to have suffered..etc etc..then you shouldn't have volunteered, eh or stayed on if it was so rough and the retirement benefits so low which doesn't say a lot about your common sense.

    And I DID mean what i said about thanking even folks like YOU for your service.

    So before you get all huffy and stupid, what not take a deep breath and try to , you know, learn about someone else and where they are coming from and opening a dialogue instead of being a combative ass. and perhaps, opening up a book or firing up a kindle might not be a bad idea for you too eh? You see how I am making a judgement about YOU based SOLEY on a few inane comments..makes you angry right? so chill dude….

    YOU will not be the only one to suffer the stings of cutbacks. bad times are coming for a lot of folks. The German analogy was to illustrate the dangers of printing money with no way to guarantee its value.

    By the way, I knew a lot of GI's back in 75 and life was not to bad expect for some places like Camp Humphreys, where they still used quonset huts and communal toilets..yuck..but the food was good, compared to Korean food at the time and I remember those great white, very thick, porcelain coffee mugs..since I was a civilian breakfast used to cost me .75 ….The main cook there was married to a Korean women and he and I used to talk all the time..nice guy…

    I'm 63. i NEVER sleep tight anymore….but thanks for the heartfelt wish and right back at ya!!!! ( and yeah, i know you were being sarcastic)

    May God Bless…..

  • Retired GI
    10:51 pm on August 10th, 2010 21

    If America is REALLY hurting, here is another idea, or two.

    Pull the American military out of Korea. A pointless expense. We have bases in Japan for the Longistics work the ROKS might need.

    Cut the pay for Congress. Cut the retirement for Congress. Cut the health care for congress. Do the same for the Senate. Unions for Government workers might need to go as well.

    Cut Welfare payments for illagal aliens. Stop the anchor babies and modify the 14th amendment.

    Make people QUALIFY for a home loan. I think we used to do that back in the days before POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Get that fat fag Barny Frank out of DC. I wounder if he ever had a Job.

    Term limits for congress just as the President has.

    Mandatory retirement for the House and Senate —– like the Military has. Yes I know that we would not have the services of the Rangels and Pelosis. I'm willing to make that sacrifice.

    I will concide that most Military Commanders do not NEED a Senior Enlisted Adviser walkin around slurping their coffee all day. Get rid of the rank of Sergeants Major. They are truly a waste of money. And Air. And coffee!

    There. I fixed it.

    You can send me the sum a congressman makes in one year. It will last me much longer and I did more in this post than most congressmen ever do.

    Na. Lets just take away Military Retirment.

    I find it amazing that higher education does not lead to higher intelligence.

  • Retired GI
    2:34 am on August 11th, 2010 22

    @ #20 I can't stop smiling :grin: , You see—I am a combative ass. It is my nature to respond to those that have not lived as I have but feel free to pass judgement, in just such a manner.

    So you're a Teacher. That makes PERFECT sense. Those that can't do—teach. Isn't that what they say? But I did take some history classes in Bosnia from those such as you. So it is a surprize that you would feel as you do.

    Spent a few years at Humphreys. No hut for me. Only a condemed barracks. You're right the food wasn't bad. Cost me around $270.00 in separate rations pay that I didn't get per month. Would rather have had the extra pay.

    You're correct again when you say that it didn't say much about my common sense to stay in an under payed and cared about profession as being a Soldier. Must have been some other reason for me to continue besides money.

    Often I feel that I would have been better off to have left the service after my first four years. Thank you for confirming this.

    Trust me when I say this, if I could go back with my current memories of those years, I would do some things differently. But I would have still been in the Military. Someone has to serve the country so that others can have a safe country in which to get their free ride.

    HAWAII!! Nice! Never been there. Three years in Korea, good for you. Nine for me, another in Bosnia and only one year in Iraq. Honduras was nice, even before barracks and showers. Shower tents and fifty gallon drums in the outhouse. Nothing like tha smell of burning chit in the morning. :grin:

    Yea, you're right. Something is wrong with me. To be able to enjoy a life like that.

    But you should be happy there are people like me who will take some pleasure in doing what you never would. But you're not capable of understanding any of this.

    Eat more Kimchi, as I do.

  • Pete
    6:10 am on August 11th, 2010 23

    I believe major changes will occur in the military retirement system.

    Today, when a young man or woman signs up, whether they know it or not, they are signing up to a million dollar career. How do I caculate this, Pay, benefits for them and their family (Medical, Educational, Job preference, etc)

    while on active duty and then retirement benefits, educational benefits, VA benefits, commissary/px benefits, and the big one medical benefits after retirement. Now, there is nothing wrong with the government giving you a million plus during your lifetime, just as long as the government has it to give – but it seems the pot is drying up. Actually, it has taken longer than I expected since stopping the draft in 73.

    After we leave Iraq and Stan the troops serving in the military had better hope for some other bad country to rise up or soon all the goodies being thrown at the military today will be gone.

  • Retired GI
    9:49 am on August 11th, 2010 24

    Pete, will Iran do? I disagree that a million dollar career is "given" to the Troops. I earned my medical. Many do not use the educational. Job preference? I have heard that it exist, but found no evidence for it. Px? Not where i live.

    Medical is the big one. Trust me. Have not finished the educational one. Still have time. You sound ed u ma ca ted. What would be a good major? And don't tell me spelling! ;-)

  • chosunking
    11:01 am on August 11th, 2010 25

    I WAS a teacher but spent the last twenty years as a food buyer for Trump Casino.

    I was hired in Korea NOT Hawaii.

    Only taught for four years and that was the end of teaching.(3 PC and one U of Hawaii)

    Only spent a few days in Hawaii in transit to Korea from the states.

    I love kimchi…good for you too..Though it does tend to seep from your pores(garlic)

    Never in combat. Life was never in danger except during the winter when I had too much soju and had to use the outdoor latrine, or hole in the ground in the dark.

    and in THOSE days soju wasn't a sissy drink like it is now.

    For some the military life was a pretty good gig. I met and taught a whole plethora of folks,all with different agendas as to why they served. When you are on top of a mountain and only teach 4 hours a day there is a lot of time to converse with soldiers.

    Only have a Mass Communications and History.

    Love history …just finished re-reading 'The Coldest Winter" No. I REALLY love history.

    have over 200 history books…

    What I "feel" has nothing to do with what the fiscal reality is for the US.

    In general i tend to be a fiscal conservative and a social moderate.
    If you are interested in expanding your world view and listening to different voices.

    If not, oh well…..

    Now back to kimchi and watching Japanese porn…lovely.

    Oh, back in THOSE days think your life was bad…how about the Koreans (honey bucket men)who collected human waste from those latrines…


  • Chris In Dallas
    11:32 am on August 11th, 2010 26

    #19, Tom Langley, agree 110%! After I got out, I toyed around with joining the Guard or Reserves. I chose not to for a couple reasons. One reason is I couldn't justify to myself putting in 15 more years and then wait 21 or so years before getting a retirement check. So there went years of training, experience and payment of half my college education down the tubes because a bunch of cheap politicians thought cutting reserve retirement pay was a great idea.

    The dingdongs in Washington just bailed out the teachers and their out of control pensions and not that long ago they jumped in to save auto manufacturers' bennies. They've also been discussing helping out to keep state and local government employees' obscene retirement packages together. Yet when it comes to service members the same jackasses want to cut cut cut! What's the dealio with that??

  • ChickenHead
    4:03 pm on August 11th, 2010 27

    Retired GI,

    If you are mechanically inclined, I recommend gunsmithing school.

    The work is clean, requires a relatively small investment in money and space, you get to meet honest/practical/respectable people…

    …and, if you do excellent work, treat people fairly and keep your skills relevant through reading, socializing and training, you can make quite a bit of money with very little work… or NO work if you are doing something you enjoy.

    And, there is plenty of time for sippin' whiskey with customers and potential customers while bitching about illegal aliens, welfare queens and liberal politics.

    And, if the Revolution starts or the Greys invade, you will have a skill that will keep food on your table.

  • Retired GI
    10:07 pm on August 11th, 2010 28


    Sounds practical.

    The Greys! Sneaky little devils. They want to drain us of our precious bodily fluids.

    Reminds me of a korean tour guide I knew once.

  • ChickenHead
    11:42 pm on August 11th, 2010 29

    It isn't the bodily fluids that bothers me…

    …it's the outdated anaal probe technology they still insist on using.

    The medical scanning room in the basement of the Denver Airport looks like a dirty book store.

  • Retired GI
    1:17 am on August 12th, 2010 30

    :lol: an image I just didn't need in my head :lol:

  • Pete
    6:31 am on August 12th, 2010 31

    I reckon you can say I am ed u ma ca ted. Before I went to college I couldn't even spell graduate = now I are one.

  • Nativedaughter
    11:01 am on November 1st, 2010 32

    I work with retirees who are "born again civil servants" and they are the worst. Blocking young people with families from getting jobs while they pull down 2 paychecks..they all act like they are still retired. Uh.. And they ARE. How are you really gonna work when u got retired Cols pay comin in and your buddies R begging u to go golfing? Oh, and the warfighter? He gets screwed since he spends his career sucking sand with an M-4 tied to his back while his more cowardly compatriots spend their time in uniform behind the desk building their resume for their next retirement: civil service.

  • Retired GI
    2:04 pm on November 1st, 2010 33

    #32, if I understand you correctly, you speak of a retired military officer. If so, I agree with you. I never had any love for officers. As I've stated else where, I can count the "soldier" among them on one hand. I have stories!

  • Darkmatter
    4:24 am on November 28th, 2010 34


    What do you think will happen if 100k retired veterans who are skilled in the arts of war, sacrificed more than most can immagine and feel they held up their end of the deal, and are being ripped off?

  • Phillip Cipriani Jr.
    2:56 pm on December 18th, 2013 35

    Why is it all the time when budgets are discussed “sustainability” we bring up what our founding fathers envisioned? I really doubt our founding fathers could imagine the growth of the United States.

    I really hate to burst bubbles here. The retirements military or social security are sustainable. If they are not then the Corporate Welfare “subsidies” need to end. I hear complaints all the time about social programs for the poor yet we dole out billions in subsidies.

    As for double dipping. Drawing Social Security and Military Retirement. We as Military retirees pay into this social program and many of us paid into our home States for tax purpose. We all have been taxed at the Federal level which makes these cuts insulting as we pay taxes that come in the form of a portion of our pay checks.

    Really, if the programs entered into in good faith our now unsustainable then the pay associated with serving in Government is unsustainable and should be forfeit. Servant does not equal compensation.

  • Leon LaPorte
    5:31 pm on December 18th, 2013 36

    35. I think you sell them short and underestimate them simply because they dressed and smelled funny. Of, and used F’s for S’s.


RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.

Bad Behavior has blocked 59612 access attempts in the last 7 days.