Retirement Effects

Retirement Effects

Postby yoshi » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:09 am

Attached was referred to by CBS News today, and has been the subject of much talk and think tank "action". Its worth a read, but if you're like me, you still won't understand it all when you are done. I only wish the government would focus on eliminating the trillions of dollars (in today's money) debt, rather than focusing on the "unsustainable" 217 billion dollars in 2034 that the present military retirement represents. Talk about not worth the effort. Whatever we do with the military retirement - and we really probably should figure something out - will have zero effect on our country's fiscal (in)solvency. Against the backdrop of the current financial situation, changing retirement to save even 60% of $217 (projected required liability for retirement in 2034) out of $3000 of today's money (deficit level) is not a savings measure but rather a political one. This is particularly true given the gravity of the pending disaster connected with social security/other entitlements. Also - tough to see how the military will be able to maintain any kind of solid mid career force level, let alone one of quality. Costs for personnel turnover, increased training will likely mitigate savings in the long run. I'm also curious to see how such a plan may affect the ultimate end strength of the military, and in turn the number and level of commitments across the globe (you can't deploy what you don't physically have). Maybe politicians wouldn't be able to reach for the military for the easy solution, or at least not as often.
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Postby Sum1 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:32 am

I think what people seem to forget is the nation's military (Navy including) has basically been in a decade-long surge period. The quickest and easiest way to save money is to pull back on these compounding requirements that keep getting levied on the nation's service men and women. Only once requirements are at a realistic level to sustain should we start looking at other ways to save money. You can't have it both ways - either you pay to have your troops fighting a war on all but one continent or you learn how to say "no."
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Postby OmegaMan » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:18 pm

I doubt it will actually pass congress, sounds like political suicide to me. secdef stated that some type of "grandfather" clause will be proposed. I expect it to be for those members at 15 years of service or greater, considering at the 15 year point you sign a contract with the USG to forgo REDUX in lieu of a standard 20 year pension. Although, if that does not happen, I imagine retirement eligible personnel will jump ship in droves. You'd be a fool not to.
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Postby webmaster » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:48 pm

Being at 12 years I'd think about the reserves if they made some of the changes I've seen proposed. My husband and I are delaying starting a business until I retire. If they restructure retirement to mirror that of the reserves, we're asking ourselves is it worth it to wait? I guess we'll wait and see.
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Postby unlikelyconvert » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:08 pm

Sum1 wrote:I think what people seem to forget is the nation's military (Navy including) has basically been in a decade-long surge period. The quickest and easiest way to save money is to pull back on these compounding requirements that keep getting levied on the nation's service men and women. Only once requirements are at a realistic level to sustain should we start looking at other ways to save money. You can't have it both ways - either you pay to have your troops fighting a war on all but one continent or you learn how to say "no."


Time to let State Dept do nation building so we can go other places and actual protect national interests instead of building schools, roads, parks...etc. Let State do State.
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Postby Sleeper » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:19 pm

unlikelyconvert wrote:Time to let State Dept do nation building so we can go other places and actual protect national interests instead of building schools, roads, parks...etc. Let State do State.


But there are more military musicians than State personnel. Adjusting mission scope between the two orgs would require the military to give up some $$$. We don't like to do that, even when it's apparently in the best interests of the nation.
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Postby Sum1 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:21 pm

OmegaMan wrote:I doubt it will actually pass congress, sounds like political suicide to me. secdef stated that some type of "grandfather" clause will be proposed. I expect it to be for those members at 15 years of service or greater, considering at the 15 year point you sign a contract with the USG to forgo REDUX in lieu of a standard 20 year pension. Although, if that does not happen, I imagine retirement eligible personnel will jump ship in droves. You'd be a fool not to.


I would push for any grandfather clause to cover people with 1 day of service or greater. If you push it all the way out to 15 years of service what will people like myself do who are at 10-11 years? I know I would be jumping ship as immediately as my resignation letter can get approved. Think there's a void of O-3s right now? Imagine it after the approving of this plan.

I wonder how the SWO community would hold up, too. They already have problems keeping people past their first shore tour... lack of department heads just pushed the standard from an 18 month department head tour to a full 24 month tour.
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Postby COMEVIL » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:54 am

Interesting read; thanks for posting. And I learned a new word -- quartile.

yoshi wrote:Also - tough to see how the military will be able to maintain any kind of solid mid career force level, let alone one of quality.


Regarding the above comment... I wonder if this will have a positive effect on the force. Perhaps the new system will encourage those who were just hanging on for 20 years to collect their retirement to move on and open up slots for those serving for different reasons.

Either way, I still believe that many of these social systems are unsustainable over the long term without significant reform. You see the same thing happening at the state level where the percentage of their budget paying for retirees begins to outweigh basic operating funds. George Will spoke at length regarding this topic at a lecture I attended last spring. Bottom line - something has to change.
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Postby OmegaMan » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:20 am

Sum1 wrote:I would push for any grandfather clause to cover people with 1 day of service or greater. If you push it all the way out to 15 years of service what will people like myself do who are at 10-11 years? I know I would be jumping ship as immediately as my resignation letter can get approved. Think there's a void of O-3s right now? Imagine it after the approving of this plan.

I wonder how the SWO community would hold up, too. They already have problems keeping people past their first shore tour... lack of department heads just pushed the standard from an 18 month department head tour to a full 24 month tour.


I whole heartedly agree about your opinion on the grandfather clause. It's the sensible thing to do... but how often are politicians caught doing anything sensible.

If a retirement plan is inevitable, what about this. Keep a similar structure as today, but let folks retire at 10 years with 25% and cap it at 50% at 20 years. If you want to stick around and increase rank/pay, go for it. I wonder how the numbers would crunch then?
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Postby Sum1 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:00 pm

Wouldn't work, imo. I think the number I saw was only like 14% of military members make it to 20 years, so if you let them retire at 10 years with some pay you'll be paying a lot more people overall, I'd think.
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