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Old 08-16-2011, 11:54 AM
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Default Pentagon considering scrapping military pensions...

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If we can discuss this without general political carping, it can go on.

If not, it won't go on.
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I was shocked to read news reports that the Pentagon has been instructed to consider scrapping military pensions and replacing them with something like a 401(k) plan.

The thought is that active duty military people can contribute up to 16.5% of their pay, matched by the government. Investments will NOT be protected from stock and other investment swings.

I wonder which whiz kid in the current administration thought this one up, and who is pushing it at what level? Our military people do not have ordinary jobs. They are all volunteers who have pledged in their youth to protect our country at the possible cost of their lives. They commit their youthful years to the country, and as a reward, the country has traditionally promised to help take care of them via a pension as they get older. This ill-conceived plan would be a breach of faith, in my opinion.

The military is underpaid as it is, and to ask them to contribute a sizable portion of their inadequate pay because the country isn't willing to help support them when they get older is unconscionable. Imagine a PFC having to lose part of his pay - it would put him on food stamps!

I mean, good grief; what's next? I think our next President should have some appreciation of the military and what they do for us; it would be even nicer if that person was a veteran. Giving lip service is not enough; the country needs to continue to step up to the plate for military retirees. This whole idea stinks.

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Old 08-16-2011, 12:05 PM
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this really stinks!!!!!!!
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:07 PM
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I think your wrong about the chances of this bad policy change going through. If it's a choice between shafting the military and protecting entitlements to babymommas then they will protect the voter base.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:16 PM
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I don't see a problem with this,the last few years have shown how well a lot of pension plans work out.
On the other hand I guess we know we can trust the goverment and we're sure they will be solvent in 20 years.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:17 PM
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Going from a pension to a 401(k) has worked SO well in the private sector.

My company scrapped it's pension plan in 1989. I had 8 years in by then so I was vested. I'll get a small amount at 65, but the 401(k) plan in its place is no security blanket; caught in the whim of the stock markets. The company match was company stock, and that value sure hasn't kept up with the cost of living.

What I have a real problem with is retroactive changes. Promise people that they would have a certain amount for their retirement so they plan on it, and then pull the rug out and say so sorry? That's a load of... well, you know.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:44 PM
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I don't see a problem with this,the last few years have shown how well a lot of pension plans work out.
I seriously hope that this comment was meant as a joke.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:01 PM
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With some luck it could work better. But then again, just how many 18 year old pfc`s will take advantage of it? Then, on the other hand, how many guys do have a couple hitchs in and get out without any pension at all? Maybe with this they would have something built up already if they opt out early? There is always two sides to the coin.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:01 PM
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I suppose congressional pensions would be exempt.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CelticSire View Post
I seriously hope that this comment was meant as a joke.
I took it as being sarcastic (a joke). Most of the pension failures around the Country is because municipalities did not make their required contributuions. My pension was 8% of my salary with another 8% by the City of New York. When the City refused to give us raises, the State legislature made the City add another 2% to the pension, lowering our contribution rate to 6%. In most cases the City would say "There is enough in the fund where we do not have to put in our contribution". Even with that, NYC pensions are in great shape compared to other municipalities.

The problem with SSI is that the government has been raiding it for so many years.

A 401k type of pension plan may work out better than a government pension, but that would rely upon a teenage kid (fighting military men/women) making wise choices in their investments.

We can never, ever repay what our Military does for us. They deserve a thriving pension. As a matter of fact, they deserve enhancements, because they are the only people in this Country who really earn it.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:06 PM
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I seriously hope that this comment was meant as a joke.
Absolutely not,perhaps you havn't been paying attention but just try googleing "pension plans in trouble".
Granted we're talking the Federal Govt here so things are a little different but there is already talk of reforming medicare/medicaid, raiseing retirement ages, reduceing ss benefits, ect.
Things are already screwed up and seem to be getting worse,how bout a little outside the box thinking and different ideas in an effort to avoid yet another mess.

eta,Just reread my original post and realised that while I was serious in my first sentence the rest was all sarcasm.So yes, I guess most of the comments were meant as a joke.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:09 PM
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Defined benefit plans for new hires are almost non-existant these days as most private and some public sector jobs opt for defined contributions instead. Panetta knows that existing service members must be grandfathered in if and when any changes are made. The life expectancy of a retired service member is much less than average and I read only 13% of enlistees make it to 20 years anyway. I can see the draft boards being activated somewhere down the road.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
With some luck it could work better. But then again, just how many 18 year old pfc`s will take advantage of it? Then, on the other hand, how many guys do have a couple hitchs in and get out without any pension at all? Maybe with this they would have something built up already if they opt out early? There is always two sides to the coin.
That is a point I had not considered. It used to be in the Army only about 1 in 26 stuck it out to retirement. Most get out with only what little they managed to save on thier own.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:20 PM
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During the Clinton years there was a push to get military people out before their 20 or 30 years. In a word "screw" them out of their pensions. Didn't the same administration do it's best to dismantle our country's overseas intelligence network?
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:29 PM
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Defined benefit pension plans are being phased out throughout the country.
Think of it this way, when you start work you a looking for some private firm or government to be ready to pay a pension to you some 45/50 years in the future and continue for up to 80 years.

Who can you depend upon for that? Who do you trust for 80 years, politicians? Remember few pension funds even existed 80 years ago and that included SS.

In the end you may object to “depending on the stock market (SM)” but if the SM tanks so does the economy.

I would suggest that most including the military would be better off with their pension invested in the SM than dependent upon the politicians.

Obviously you cannot change the system for most of those currently in the military unless you give them a paid up plan. Yes, you might have to adjust the pay to make it competitive.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:31 PM
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Didn't the same administration do it's best to dismantle our country's overseas intelligence network?
Clinton was too late to do that because Jimmah Cahtuh and Stansfield Turner had done already done it.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:16 PM
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So what is the difference between such a proposal for the military and what we are doing to thousands of police officers and firefighters across the country? Seems to me members of all these 3 organizations are putting their lives on the line, and many pay the ultimate price. Cutting any of these organizations should upset all Americans enough that they support whatever tax increases are needed to fund them.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:38 PM
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Defined benefit pension plans are being phased out throughout the country.
Think of it this way, when you start work you a looking for some private firm or government to be ready to pay a pension to you some 45/50 years in the future and continue for up to 80 years.

Who can you depend upon for that? Who do you trust for 80 years, politicians? Remember few pension funds even existed 80 years ago and that included SS.

In the end you may object to “depending on the stock market (SM)” but if the SM tanks so does the economy.

I would suggest that most including the military would be better off with their pension invested in the SM than dependent upon the politicians.

Obviously you cannot change the system for most of those currently in the military unless you give them a paid up plan. Yes, you might have to adjust the pay to make it competitive.
Old Roger brings up a great point. This would be a good approach as long as the Federal Government made a contribution to the 401k plans. It should at least be matching. I also feel that GI pay should not be taxed by any Federal, State or local level. A 401k can be put into a low yield, yet steady return.

At a time of war, I do not feel you can compare the GI to cops and fireman. In some areas being a cop is a pretty cushy job.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:12 PM
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Well, if they're going to get rid of my pension, there's only one thing to do. SIGN ME UP AGAIN!!! TAKE ME, TAKE ME, TAKE ME!!! I would love to be a First Sergeant in a deployed medical unit!! Yoo-Hoo, anyone on the Joint Chiefs listening????
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:26 PM
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I heard this today and thought it was someone's idea of a joke...it is a joke and not a very funny one.

It doesn't come as a suprise, though. I expect that most entitlements (SSI, Medicare, etc) will be gone and taxes will be at least 70% of people's gross per year in the not-to-distant future.

If some idiot does this and it passes, expect a draft to be enacted to be able to even have a military force shortly thereafter.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:42 PM
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Absolutely not,perhaps you havn't been paying attention
Yeah, I've been paying attention for the last 23 years which included multiple combat tours and a knee that will never be right again. If I'm really lucky, when I turn age 60, I can draw about 2,000 a month as a retired CSM with 30 years on the books. And now some jack wagon wants to convert my retirement? Make it into a 401K? Where is the government going to get the 23 years worth of matching funds? Or am I supposed to just suck it up and drive on while the powers that be continue to draw their pensions? I'll tell you what, when Congress as a whole lives in a rat hole for 18 months on rationed food and water, puts up with daily IEDs, mortars, and sniper fire, when they have to write letters home to parents, then maybe I'll listen to their harebrained ideas about how my retirement should be jacked with.

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Old 08-16-2011, 05:52 PM
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Instead of cutting or eliminating pensions for our brave your men and women serving in the military why not offer a 60% pension at 25 years of service and 75% at 30 years of service; instead of the current 50% after 20 years then an additional 2.5% for each additional year of service.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:06 PM
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I saw this and it just irritates the hell out of me. I retired with the 50% pension plan and that was one of the main reasons I stayed in to make it a career. I wonder if that new plan will also be applied to the other Federal agencies that have 20 year retirements? If I'm not mistaken (and I might be), don't armed Federal law enforcement officers also have a 20 year retirement plan? Seems to me when I read somewhere this includes the Border Patrol, FBI, etc.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
With some luck it could work better. But then again, just how many 18 year old pfc`s will take advantage of it? Then, on the other hand, how many guys do have a couple hitchs in and get out without any pension at all? Maybe with this they would have something built up already if they opt out early? There is always two sides to the coin.
That's definitely a way of looking at it. When I was in they had the savings bond payroll deduction program. Wish I had gotten into it earlier in my career.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:33 PM
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The "traditional" defined benefit pension plan had several major flaws that resulted in its being phased out in favor of the 401K and other plans.
1. Problems with vesting-when was the beneficiary guaranteed the benefits. Too many companies have become notorious for letting employees go before they were vested in the pension plan.
2. No inflation proofing or COLA benefits.
3. No flexibility in payments.
4. Often-probably- no survivor benefits. The pension died with the beneficiary, the estate received nothing. Sounds rather like Social Security, doesn't it?
This sounds like another attempt by the bean counters and quantification quacks and their liberal allies to use the Defense budget as a cash cow to pay for social programs.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:00 PM
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Eh. As the only remaining national institution that people have any faith in, it is only a matter of time until the Army has to step in and run the country anyway. Might as well go ahead and alienate them further from the democratic process and speed things up a little bit.

Anyway, under current recruitment guidelines, essentially no one who didn't want to be drafted would find themselves called up. All it takes is an Rx for any antidepressant and someone is considered unfit for service. That's a relatively easy thing to get most any doctor to hand out for a variety of conditions.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:10 PM
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I don't think it would result in a recruiting problem. Eighteen year old kids usually aren't thinking about retirement any way. They are usually interested in college money or adventure. The real problem would be with retention. The twenty two year old E5 who has earned his college money or had his adventure. So, this plan would hit the NCO corps and company grade officers the hardest. A lot of our E8s and E9s decided to tough out the cuts and general **** of the 1990s when they were E5s and E6s in order to get their retirement. Take away retirement, I think a sizable number of the people that actually run the Army would run away from the Army...
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:18 PM
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I remember back in the '60's the news that SS funds would be "borrowed" from for foreign aid for the first time.
I've also heard that the gov't. is looking into the possibility of going after railroad pensions. Those people get nothing from SS now. Looks
like the gov't. wants to make sure we're all living under bridges and
eating bark and grass. "Course that'll only happen if you are a
productive citizen. ???TACC1???
PS: Thanks for posting, John.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:24 PM
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IMO it's time to face the fact that we can't afford the current military pension structure. I had an Uncle who retired with the rank of Captain from the Navy and the "double dipping" that he could do drove my father nuts. BTW, Dad did 4 years in the Army during WWII and didn't collect a dime after his service, he'd just finished college when he signed on. I also worked with a fellow who retired from the USAF as the highest ranking non com in the AF. He retired with 30 years in at the age of 48. Then he went to work in the private sector and put every nickle of his pension into the stock market, as a result when I worked with him in 1982 his net worth was over 2.5 million and he had one of the finest collections of revolvers I've ever seen in an air conditioned underground bunker. Finally, there is my Brother In Law, who retired as a full Colonel from the Air Force with 32 years in service. He's 57 years old, collects a 95K per year pension, and has the contacts that if he wanted to go to work in the private sector could easily be pulling down 500K per year. BTW, he served in the Jag Corps, so 500K is likely very lowball.

Fact is the those who serve long term in the military receive training that cannot be matched by any university in the world, don't have to pay 800-1600 dollars a month for health insurance, and come out with abilities and contacts that make private sector employers just drool. Yeah, the pay starting out is terrible compared to the private sector, but once you've put in 10 or 15 years you start to achieve equity and once you do retire you'll be looking at private sector salaries that make up for that lousy pay for the first 10 years in just about 2-5 years working on the private side. Fact is that any service member who serves for 20 years or more will be a multimillionare at 65 if he has any sense at all with his choices in service and his spending after leaving the service.

The simple fact is the military pension structure today doesn't bear any resemblance to the military pension structure back in 1900 and it's one facet of why our deficit is out of control. Admittedly, it's a small facet but if we are ever going to start cutting entitlements it has to be across the board. In addition restructuring the military pension system would allow those who are just starting out in the military to be paid at a more equitable level than what is currently in place. Fact is that most of our military who actually face fire receive pay that is just shameful for the risk they face and if someone with 20-30 years in has to wait until they are 60 to get a pension to allow our boots to be paid equitably I'm all for it.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:19 PM
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Fact is the those who serve long term in the military receive training that cannot be matched by any university in the world, don't have to pay 800-1600 dollars a month for health insurance, and come out with abilities and contacts that make private sector employers just drool.
Really? Yeah, I have a hard time getting to my mailbox everyday because of all the contractors waiting outside my door to hire me. They're all drooling over the opportunity to hire a guy with two bad knees, chronic degenerative disc disease, asthma, and diabetes, all of which are service-connected. But none of which are bad enough for a disability rating according to the VA. Oh, and the "free" medical care? Nope, once you turn 60, you have to sign up for Medicare and Medicaid which then become your PRIMARY insurance. Your VA health benefits become secondary.

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Yeah, the pay starting out is terrible compared to the private sector, but once you've put in 10 or 15 years you start to achieve equity and once you do retire you'll be looking at private sector salaries that make up for that lousy pay for the first 10 years in just about 2-5 years working on the private side. Fact is that any service member who serves for 20 years or more will be a multimillionare at 65 if he has any sense at all with his choices in service and his spending after leaving the service.
Well, I guess I must have not had any sense, then, because I darn sure ain't gonna make millionaire status. I'm sure the multiple times I had to pay for two households due to being a "geographical bachelor", the "pay for your travel now and you'll get reimbursed" but the money never showed up, the money spent replacing equipment that the Army refused to take back even though it was legitimate fair-wear-and-tear, the money spent at civilian doctors because Tri-Care says that the services should only cost X but the Doctor charges Y, yeah, none of that had anything to do with it.

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Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
The simple fact is the military pension structure today doesn't bear any resemblance to the military pension structure back in 1900 and it's one facet of why our deficit is out of control. Admittedly, it's a small facet but if we are ever going to start cutting entitlements it has to be across the board. In addition restructuring the military pension system would allow those who are just starting out in the military to be paid at a more equitable level than what is currently in place. Fact is that most of our military who actually face fire receive pay that is just shameful for the risk they face and if someone with 20-30 years in has to wait until they are 60 to get a pension to allow our boots to be paid equitably I'm all for it.
And I'm sure glad that someone who has never spent one minute in a hostile fire zone is such an expert on how those of who have should have our retirement monies distributed. What seat in Congress do you occupy?
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:10 PM
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The only civilian sector employers who have anything close to the military's idiotic "up or out" personnel policies are academia, where if you don't get tenure you're out the door, and law firms where if you don't make partner you have to leave. The military isn't exactly a secure occupation, in addition to the hazards of hostile fire zones there are the
problems of training accidents and personnel policies that change with the political winds and whoever's in charge in D.C., plus the downsizing that comes after every major conflict in an attempt to spend the "Peace Dividend". I haven't met too many military retirees who pursued a second career, banked and invested their military pension and became millionaires by age 65.
IIRC one of the reasons for military pensions being established the way they are is the recognition that combat is basically a young man's task, by allowing a fairly early and generous retirement program you will ensure that your military is composed mostly of those young enough to withstand the rigors and strains of warfare.

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Old 08-16-2011, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CelticSire View Post
Yeah, I've been paying attention for the last 23 years which included multiple combat tours and a knee that will never be right again. If I'm really lucky, when I turn age 60, I can draw about 2,000 a month as a retired CSM with 30 years on the books. And now some jack wagon wants to convert my retirement? Make it into a 401K? Where is the government going to get the 23 years worth of matching funds? Or am I supposed to just suck it up and drive on while the powers that be continue to draw their pensions? I'll tell you what, when Congress as a whole lives in a rat hole for 18 months on rationed food and water, puts up with daily IEDs, mortars, and sniper fire, when they have to write letters home to parents, then maybe I'll listen to their harebrained ideas about how my retirement should be jacked with.
I think you misunderstand me,my whole point is not that anything should be taken away from you,rather that if it were me I would want my funds in my name to avoid the probability that ten years down the road Congerss decides they can't afford your pension and must cut it.Three weeks ago the president made a statement that if the debt ceiling were not raised SS checks might not go out,I think they would have but there could come a time when that could be a reality.
If they came out with a plan to do something similar with SS how many people under 50 do you think would complain?I bet not many.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:01 PM
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Full disclosure: I did 6 years active duty, so I do not qualify for pension of any kind.

With the money the service pays, I think the pension system is fair. 20 years (for half pension) of crappy pay still deserves something. Regardless of your views of the military or war, these folks protect our freedom, so I think they earn it.

Unlike Congress, senate, local govmt, water depts. etc.

I would like to see it so that NO public service job can have better benifits (health, vacation, pension) than our military pensioners.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
IMO it's time to face the fact that we can't afford the current military pension structure. I had an Uncle who retired with the rank of Captain from the Navy and the "double dipping" that he could do drove my father nuts. . Finally, there is my Brother In Law, who retired as a full Colonel from the Air Force with 32 years in service. He's 57 years old, collects a 95K per year pension.
Those are the REMF (google it) officers. Most people aren't officers, and even many officers don't have the cushy jobs. Anyone in a combat arms position who is enlisted is going to be essentially broken after their 20 years. Enlisted folks spend a fair amount of time doing hard physical labor.

I know one guy who's only a Lance Corporal in the Marines. His knees are already shot and he's looking at having to have surgery on a leg as a result of wear and tear on his body from deployments. All he knows how to do is to be an armorer and how to fight. What's he got waiting for him when he gets out?

Guys who did their time in duties far to the rear, contracting, and other such things can get lucrative defense jobs sure. But they are the minority.

My wife plans to retire at 20 years. She's already getting to be in rough shape thanks to the wear and tear of Navy life, which isn't even as bad as many jobs in the Marines or Army. What she has to look forward to is an entirely inadequate pittance of a 20 year pension and a lifetime of physical limitations as a result of service.

Pensions for retired soldiers isn't exactly a new idea. The Roman Army did it... Partly because when it isn't done, all those guys who now have a lot of experience with fighting end up thinking what a raw deal they got and pretty soon start to get ideas as to who ought be running things. Thus even 2000 odd years later we know who Julius Caesar - a guy who rewarded his troops - was.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ChuckS1 View Post
I saw this and it just irritates the hell out of me. I retired with the 50% pension plan and that was one of the main reasons I stayed in to make it a career. I wonder if that new plan will also be applied to the other Federal agencies that have 20 year retirements? If I'm not mistaken (and I might be), don't armed Federal law enforcement officers also have a 20 year retirement plan? Seems to me when I read somewhere this includes the Border Patrol, FBI, etc.
We've always been under a different retirement system (FERS). LE positions (also firemen and air traffic controllers) can retire after 20, as long as they're at least 50 years old. I'm eligible next month (I came in at 32, after 8 1/2 years active duty USAF), and I'm mandatory at 57. Retirement is a combination of fixed benefit and govt 401k.

If it makes anyone feel better, our current system is also under the knife.

I was sure a lot more popular when I worked for DOD rather than DOJ. What a difference one letter makes!

I bet any changes would be phased in, so service members close to retirement wouldn't be affected by a new plan.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:09 AM
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One benefit of a new 401k-type plan is that there is something there for the guy (or gal) who gets out before getting their 20. Under the current plan a military person who gets out at 16 or 18 years gets nothing, nada, zilch. With a 401k system they would receive everything they paid in plus the interest they earned.

Most who are in a pension plan defend them, and most who do not benefit from them but have to pay the taxes for them tend to resent that. My fire pension would give me 40% at 20 years service and I am grateful I have it to look forward to (I hope) but something has to be done. These plans are costing our kids' futures.
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:51 AM
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What about the hard working farmers, ranchers, small store owners, small contracters, cafe`s and business owners? They have zilch help for any benifts, pensions, medical, paid vacations, no one pays the matching social security, no days paid off for jury duty, no sick pay, no paid holidays. Never do you ever hear anyone bragging them up! Yet they are heros of mine. No one helps them or gives them anything, yet they get to pay all servicemens, cops, firemens, politicans pensions.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:20 AM
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Panetta knows that existing service members must be grandfathered in if and when any changes are made.

Based on what?
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:24 AM
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Instead of cutting or eliminating pensions for our brave your men and women serving in the military why not offer a 60% pension at 25 years of service and 75% at 30 years of service; instead of the current 50% after 20 years then an additional 2.5% for each additional year of service.
60% at 25 would be a pay cut. Just pointing it out.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:02 AM
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What about the hard working farmers, ranchers, small store owners, small contracters, cafe`s and business owners? They have zilch help for any benifts, pensions, medical, paid vacations, no one pays the matching social security, no days paid off for jury duty, no sick pay, no paid holidays. Never do you ever hear anyone bragging them up! Yet they are heros of mine. No one helps them or gives them anything, yet they get to pay all servicemens, cops, firemens, politicans pensions.
My issue is that we're the only ones that anyone ever wants to ask to sacrifice. If you don't want to pay me the agreed-upon compensation, perhaps you should've decided that beforehand.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by GatorFarmer View Post
Those are the REMF (google it) officers. Most people aren't officers, and even many officers don't have the cushy jobs. Anyone in a combat arms position who is enlisted is going to be essentially broken after their 20 years. Enlisted folks spend a fair amount of time doing hard physical labor.

I know one guy who's only a Lance Corporal in the Marines. His knees are already shot and he's looking at having to have surgery on a leg as a result of wear and tear on his body from deployments. All he knows how to do is to be an armorer and how to fight. What's he got waiting for him when he gets out?

Guys who did their time in duties far to the rear, contracting, and other such things can get lucrative defense jobs sure. But they are the minority.

My wife plans to retire at 20 years. She's already getting to be in rough shape thanks to the wear and tear of Navy life, which isn't even as bad as many jobs in the Marines or Army. What she has to look forward to is an entirely inadequate pittance of a 20 year pension and a lifetime of physical limitations as a result of service.
I don't take offense too often, but I will at your use of "REMF" this time. The term "REMF" was meant to be, and still is, a derisive term and I think you used it intentionally that way.

I don't know why you think that a combat support or combat service support branch is no less in harm's way than an infantry colonel sitting in a headquarters. I'm sure this is based on your own extensive military experience, however I can tell you from personal experience as an Ordnance officer who's been shot at and had fellow combat service support soldiers killed by hostile fire, that your MOS has absolutely nothing to do with the enemy who snipes at you or fires an RPG at your vehicle or detonates an EID. He could care less whether you were an infantry officer or a doctor. All he cares about is the flag on your right shoulder.

And as far as only the contracting types getting defense jobs, you obviously don't understand what Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, CSC, and the others want when they hire us. It's not because some guy understands the FAR; they're a dime a dozen and I can hire a college kid to learn that. The defense contractors want the domain knowledge, experience, and understanding of how the military works so they can use that expertise in developing the systems they bid on and build. You can't teach an entry-level systems engineer the nuances of the Army logistics system, for example, and how it's really used in the field without having guys with the experience who've "been there, done that" and understand how it's used in real life. You can't teach a college kid how to make improvements on a system that he's never used in the field or at sea. That's what defense contractors pay for. I, for one, make it a point to seek out the retired NCOs and warrant officers for exactly those reasons. I just came off a contract where, other than the IPT Lead and a few other guys who had been pilots, all the technical leads were retired or former NCOs. If you take a drive down Garrisonville Road you'll see all the defense contractors who, for the most part, are hiring retired NCOs and officers for their experience with the USMC and Army because they have combat experience and understand how their customer (the Army, Marines Air Force and Navy) work.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:19 AM
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So we should deny/limit benefits for our servicemen while all the time expanding benefits for those who refuse to be productive members of society?
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:29 AM
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Towards the tail end of Vietnam congress took vengence on the mitlitary by chopping benefits or making punitive laws that effected only veterans--the Double Dip laws, military retirement and divorce, elimination of the GI Bill, state income tax-while you're deployed, errosion of veterans preference in hiring, medical insurance for retirees and so on. 2,000 POWs/MIAs unaccounted for, an "unjust war" -54,000 lives wasted, communists allowed to overrun the south-killing those who supported us in good faith-There is only one entity that can defeat the US Military-congress. AND they're at it again-willing to abandon women, children, men-who support us and want a democratic form of government. How dare these second rate citizens consider playing with the one remaining military benefit. The citizens who support this travesty do not deserve the men and women who go in harms way.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:33 PM
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This will end up costing more money. Retention is a big cost saver. It costs alot of money to teach people to fly fighters, run and maintain submarines and any number of other complicated equipment. The military spends billions making the lives of the military and thier families as comfortable as possible to keep them in service. It pays for itself. Cutting any benifits from the military is just plain stupid.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:59 PM
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I never was in the military but flunked more physicals trying to get in than I can remember. So maybe I dont deserve to even give a opinion. That said, I will anyway. If a man wanted to be a airline pilot and had to foot the cost of training himself, hardly nobody but a trump or rockefeller or kennedy could afford it. At todays prices most couldnt or wont lay out the money to learn to fly a single engine cessna!
Pilot training has to cost fortunes in the service. I dont know what the rule is how long a pilot is obligated to stay in once they are taught, anyone here know? If they get out and a airline job they can make a fortune on the outside with their experiance that they got paid to learn.
The flip side is you can get a heart condition or whatever and not be able to pass the physical and there you stand with your education!
I had a BIL that did just that. He did I think 8 or 12 years, got out, not a bit of bennies, and died with a heart attack at about 45 years old! Had he had been putting into a 401K, probley my sister might not be splitting the rent with two grown sons today at 73 years old!
I dont know the details on the proposal, but might not this be a good thing?
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:45 PM
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Ok so here are my two cents...FWIW...

#1 I am an active duty soldier, AND PROUD OF IT

#2 stop calling military retirement an entitlement-it is earned, if you think it is an entitlement then please feel free to start forking over more of your pension/retirment fund to my bank account, you work and put money towards your retirement and SO DO ALL MY BROTHER AND SISTERS IN ARMS...

#3 I don't hold it against anyone that never joined, couldn't join, joined but got out, etc...but if you want to complain and start making absurd comments that it is the fault of the military as to why our national debt is the way it is STOP....read a high school government book and see who actually decides on where and how money is spent

#4 if you actually think, and don't just regurgitate what the talking heads on TV say, that 20 years in the military is such an easy thing and that 50% of our base pay is such a great retirement, then please by all means drop what you are doing and head for the nearest recruiter, join up and see for yourself what being in the military is all about and make an informed decision...because less than 1% of the population wears the uniform...

Now that is off my chest...the 401(K) plan sounds great on paper, but let's not forget that while we aren't complaining about the goverment not doing enough, it was that same government that made a promise to us who raised our hands and who gave 20 or more years. It doesn't bother me in the least bit that personnel who did one tour or maybe two and who got out receives nothing...that wasn't the promise, the promise was 20 or more and 50% or more...this isn't the first time this has occurred. A brief history lesson: 1783-Independance Hall-revolutionary soldiers demand back payment from the Continental Congress; 1932-Washington D.C.-WWI veterans demand payment of the Soldiers Bonus Act (passed 1924). People clamored around "more transparency" "more honesty" in government...well please tell me how threatening our veterans is a change? I understand federal agencies are facing cutbacks...but please let me know how much you are going to be affected if the "magnificent 12" don't figure out how to fix the budget, for those of you who aren't in service or who aren't in a federal job...is your company going to have to give roughly 50% of the trillion dollars in savings that is demanded by the end of the year?
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:58 PM
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What about the hard working farmers, ranchers, small store owners, small contracters, cafe`s and business owners? They have zilch help for any benifts, pensions, medical, paid vacations, no one pays the matching social security, no days paid off for jury duty, no sick pay, no paid holidays. Never do you ever hear anyone bragging them up! Yet they are heros of mine. No one helps them or gives them anything, yet they get to pay all servicemens, cops, firemens, politicans pensions.
You sir are certainly entitled to your opinion, and that is one of the benefits of living here in America is that you can express your opinion pretty much anywhere anytime. BUT the first folks that you mentioned there...they work for themselves...the American dream, the second group works for THEM so that they can live that American Dream...please provide a way that we ALL can have all the riches that this country and our way of life provides while at the same time having someone who is willing to put their life on the line for that but who we don't have to pay with our taxes...oh wait I know we can all live in gray buildings and run around in the same types of uniforms and call each other comrade...maybe in your world there is no need for a military, police officers, firefighters, and politicians...or maybe I am just not seeing this Utopia you are talking about....just me
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:07 PM
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[QUOTE=daveh75;136081812]Ok so here are my two cents...1932-Washington D.C.-WWI veterans demand payment of the Soldiers Bonus Act (passed 1924).\QUOTE]


Many of the war veterans had been out of work since the beginning of the Great Depression. The World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 had awarded them bonuses in the form of certificates they could not redeem until 1945. Each service certificate, issued to a qualified veteran soldier, bore a face value equal to the soldier's promised payment plus compound interest. The principal demand of the Bonus Army was the immediate cash payment of their certificates.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:28 PM
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[QUOTE=27145;136081834]
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Ok so here are my two cents...1932-Washington D.C.-WWI veterans demand payment of the Soldiers Bonus Act (passed 1924).\QUOTE]


Many of the war veterans had been out of work since the beginning of the Great Depression. The World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 had awarded them bonuses in the form of certificates they could not redeem until 1945. Each service certificate, issued to a qualified veteran soldier, bore a face value equal to the soldier's promised payment plus compound interest. The principal demand of the Bonus Army was the immediate cash payment of their certificates.
And they could also borrow up to 25% of the value...which didn't occur. Further, the House had already approved payment of the certificates, the Senate was set to vote on it when the violence began. And please don't forget about Patton's use of tear gas....but the point of all that was to say that the government promised something and didn't come through with it...not the first time.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:39 PM
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Well all I know is that the Military created this Country, then unselfishly handed it over to civilian rule. Unless they improve their pensions, it should not be touched. 1% (I believe) of this population serve in the Military, yet this is the first time I even hear of this government looking to cut anything.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:04 PM
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You sir are certainly entitled to your opinion, and that is one of the benefits of living here in America is that you can express your opinion pretty much anywhere anytime. BUT the first folks that you mentioned there...they work for themselves...the American dream, the second group works for THEM so that they can live that American Dream...please provide a way that we ALL can have all the riches that this country and our way of life provides while at the same time having someone who is willing to put their life on the line for that but who we don't have to pay with our taxes...oh wait I know we can all live in gray buildings and run around in the same types of uniforms and call each other comrade...maybe in your world there is no need for a military, police officers, firefighters, and politicians...or maybe I am just not seeing this Utopia you are talking about....just me



The pension issue is not based on; nor does it have anything to do with how hard one works. It has to do with the fact that you are putting yourself in the position of going to war.
You give up your civil rights, the choice of where to live, basicly get paid diddly, put up with all kinds of hardships, you cant change jobs any time you want because you don't like your new boss, nevermind the joy of haircuts, uniform inspections, and being property. (before you argue that last one, read the military enlistment contract.)
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