View Full Version : Military Retirement on Chopping Block?

06-28-2011, 07:42 AM
Military Retirement Under Attack
Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates and incoming Secretary Leon Panetta joined a growing chorus of leading voices calling for cuts in the military retirement system to address budget shortfalls (see details in the article below).

Far less severe military retirement cuts of the 1980s had to be repealed after they undermined career retention.

Military Retirement on the Chopping Block?

Once again, the military retirement system is coming under the scrutiny of budgeters and deficit reduction task forces. This time the assault comes from various fronts – from outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and incoming Secretary Leon Panetta to Vice President Joe Biden.

Earlier this year Gates stated, “Everything is on the table” for budget cuts. Panetta used the same line during his recent nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, urging more significant, program-specific changes rather than an across-the-board, salami-slice budget cutting approach.

Tasked by President Obama with finding over $400 billion dollars in savings over the next 10-12 years , Gates has become a bit more specific on where some of the savings may be achieved – specifically the military retirement system.

Gates has criticized the “one-size-fits-all” 20-year retirement structure and has directed the Defense Science Board to establish a working group to develop alternative options.

In his final hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee last week, he noted, “70-80% of the force does not stay until retirement but leave with nothing,” endorsing an early vesting system.