Author Topic: Radical overhaul to military retirement  (Read 2648 times)

Offline Artos

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Radical overhaul to military retirement
« on: July 28, 2011, 08:29:23 PM »
Good thing I do what I do because I love it. 

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/07/military-dod-panel-calls-for-radical-retirement-overhaul-072511/#.TjBKFHoo78l.facebook

"Fairness is a key factor, Spencer said. Along with saving the Pentagon money, the new plan offer significant retirement benefits to the roughly 83 percent of troops who leave service before reaching 20 years.

Unlike other proposals to overhaul military retirement that would grandfather current troops, the board suggests that DoD could make an “immediate” transition to the new system, which would affect current troops quite differently depending on their years of service:"

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Radical overhaul to military retirement
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 05:25:02 AM »
Seems to me this would create a massive stampede for troops with a number of years but less than 20 to head for the gates so they can "retire", get benes from the military/.gov, and get a job on the outside too.

Maybe that's the bho admin's purpose - get lots of people out to weaken the military?

endurance

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Re: Radical overhaul to military retirement
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 09:58:48 AM »
Honestly, I'm really torn when I look at these kind of proposals.  They're looking at changing the civilian side substantially, too.  On the one hand, we all agree that the nation can't continue to spend more than they bring in, on the other hand, we signed up for a career of service in many cases accepting less money today for stability and other benefits.  Promises are being broken.  I can't even have a conversation with my coworkers about the reality of the situation, where there's no future in a nation that spends 40% more than it brings in in revenues in a given year, they just don't want to hear it and instead harp on the loss of their cost of living allowance for the last two years.  Personally on matters like that, there's bigger fish to fry.

With that said, let's get serious.  Of the government spending the breakdown goes something like this (rough numbers from memory, but easily verifiable via wiki):
$190 billion in interest (all bets are off if interest rates go back up to the historic norm of 8%)
$415 billion in 'non-discretionary'  Don't know what it is, but sounds important, we'll let it slide for now...
$660 billion for the operation of all the government agencies except the military
$680 billion for the military
$700 billion for Social Security
$800 billion for medicare/medicaid

So far, social security and medicare/medicaid are the sacred cows that no one will touch.  Instead, they're trying to balance the entire budget on one of the smaller pieces of the pie, the government agencies.  Hello, wake up, there's bigger issues here and nobody's even talking about them.  I know it's political suicide to cut social security and medicare, but it shouldn't matter.  I'm voting every damn one of the bastards out of office at this point and I think everyone else is in the same boat at this point, so what's the harm in doing the right thing and dealing with the real issue. 

Last year my wife was working with a patient for 38 days.  The guy had undergone a whipple(?) procedure which bought him about 14 months reprieve from his pancreatic cancer, but it was clear he was never going to leave the hospital again.  There was no chance.  Zero.  They spent $1.2 million dollars keeping his corpse alive for a little more than a month.

Seriously, if we can't deal with issues like that in a better way, when every doctor and nurse in the hospital are in agreement the guy is going to die, we're doomed.  I don't care if you call it a death panel or not, but there's a time and a place to stop throwing money down the toilet when it's not your money.  If the person had a shot at a reasonable quality of life for five years and it cost $200k a year to keep them alive, sure, spend it, but when there's no chance of leaving the hospital and you have a tube shoved down your throat so you have to be sedated and can't talk, that's a waste of friggin' money and it's time to accept your mortality.

As far as my pay, my retirement, and my social security, well, I could live with a pay freeze for five years under current inflationary levels, you can cut the federal contribution by half, just let me invest more tax free in my Roth (say a $10k/year limit rather than the $5k limit), and I wasn't planning on social security anyway, so phasing it out over then next 40 years would be just fine with me.  Anyone under 50 shouldn't really be betting on it being there for you anyway, whether you paid in or not.

Offline Artos

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Re: Radical overhaul to military retirement
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 10:53:05 AM »
There are parts of this proposal I like.  Guys who serve a second and third enlistment deserve more on the way out than a pat on the ass.  Being able to have a military savings plan that goes beyond the TSP and includes some matching funds is a good thing.

Telling me, at 13 years in, that what I thought was the deal isnt going to be, is a game changer for me.  My plan, all along, has been to retire at 20 and use that monthly income to allow me to set up my home as a net producer.  If that monthly income is now going to be cut by half, the production side of my retirement home has to increase dramatically, and it has to produce almost immediatly.  This makes it much more likely that, upon retirement, I have to take a contract job similar to my Army job, at least for a few years, to build up enough surplus to launch my game plan full time.  I have time to react, and a game plan with multiple options to get where I want to go, but I still feel like the rug is getting pulled out from under my plans. 

It may be more advantageous to me now to get out before 20, take my savings and launch my post-retirment plan early.  This will cost the Army what they would have otherwise gotten from having so expensively educated me.  Ill have to wait and see the actual numbers of anything that actually passes Congress.

endurance

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Re: Radical overhaul to military retirement
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 11:09:20 AM »
There are parts of this proposal I like.  Guys who serve a second and third enlistment deserve more on the way out than a pat on the ass.
Didn't you guys learn anything from Tailhook? ;D

As for the rest, I completely concur.  You join for the whole package, not just the paycheck.  When you start tinkering with the package, you may get undesirable results, in re-enlistments, morale, recruitment, and the quality of senior officers.  Dangerous games they play.

Regardless of what congress thinks of it, I'm grateful for your service.