Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pentagon "Jumps the Shark" on new pension plan

The military has been making some very suspect decisions lately, from top to bottom. From ISIS to Iraq, Bergdahl, and everything in between. We can't keep up with the contradictions and questionable actions. Of course it does come from the Commander in Chief, who has been pretty clueless on the world stage anyway. But we digress. Now they propose a radical change in the military retirement system. Now, after 20 years, you retire at 50% of your base pay. In the scheme of things, that's not bad, but not great. Since a lot of military members are young, after 20 years they are still relatively young. So getting another job and retirement gives them a chance at a second career if they need it. Now it's not great, but getting 50% after only 20 years is pretty good. We have to admit that upfront. No, you won't get rich, but it is a carrot dangled in front of you to stick it out for 20 years. Or more. And that's a good thing. We should reward those that stick their necks out for our country. Now the new plan. We'll call it the beginning of the privatization of the military. That's dangerous. It's the first step to treating the military as if it were just another federal agency or private company. The people that work their must probably pay into their own retirement with a contribution from the company. And that is what is being proposed. Having military members contribute from their already meager checks into a retirement system. This will undoubtedly be mandatory. Instead of retiring after 20 years at half pay, a member will now draw on some screw ball annuity, dropping that 50% to 40%. Okay. Perhaps you say still not bad. But we are forgetting the forfeiture of pay for those 20 years. Not only will retired service members get a smaller paycheck while serving, they get a smaller check when retiring. This is a screw ball idea. Of course higher ups think this will be great! Sure. Why would anyone make the military a career, when a private job would probably offer a better retirement? If you force people to pay who have never paid before, at least give them more! But, no. The Pentagon says they will match up to 5% contribution from military paychecks. Now we ask you, can you see military members wanting to give up 5% of their income? How many stories do you read about how military families are struggling? Members who leave early will indeed be able to withdraw it, maybe, but e bet their will be a penalty. And just when you thought it could not get worse, check this detail out. After 20 years, military members will be offered some sort of higher pay IF they stay 8 more years...why? It is hoped that this would help offset the reduced retirement. So now you must stay for 28 years... We fully recognize those that do serve longer than 20 years now. The incentive is that they will get a bigger retirement. But this is without paying one dime. This should scare a lot of people. Can you imagine the steps we would be taking to privatize the military? No more military rules. We'd probably get a union and see a strike. Write your congressmen and women. Tell them to vote no.