Pentagon Officially Backs Military Retirement Overhaul


The Pentagon for months has held off on taking an official position on the proposed military retirement overhaul, which would change the structure of benefit payouts and introduce some 401(k) components to the system.

On Wednesday the Pentagon announced its official endorsement of the overhaul, paving the way for the reforms’ likely implementation.

From the Military Times:

The Pentagon is officially backing a “blended” system that would shrink the size of the current pension by about 20 percent yet supplement that benefit by offering government contributions to individual retirement investment accounts.

The proposed system would provide for the first time a modest retirement benefit for the vast majority of service members who leave the military before reaching 20 years of service to qualify for the traditional pension.

The Defense Department’s recommendations are mostly similar to the legislation that is gaining steam on Capitol Hill and comes at a time when lawmakers are hammering out the details of their annual defense policy bill.

“We believe very strongly in this and I hope that this does become law,” Laura Junor, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said Wednesday in an interview.

The Pentagon on Wednesday sent top lawmakers a six-page “white paper” outlining in detail the military’s official position on the retirement reform efforts. Top defense officials will begin meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Thursday to discuss the details and specific legislative proposals, Junor said.

The Pentagon recommends that the overhaul take effect in January of 2018.


Photo by Brian Schlumbohm/Fort Wainwright PAO

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