Aug 16 2013
Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret) of MOAA has an excellent article at the Bottom Line titled: “Change Military Retirement – Are You Crazy?”
I really like this article and strongly urge all readers to read it. First of all, I love the title –he just cuts to the chase. Second, he brings up very strong points for maintaining the current retirement system – points that think-tank experts and our elected officials should strongly be considering. Finally though, I like anyone who prefaces “think tank experts” with the phrase “so-called.”
Anyway, Mike writes about an important issue – calls to change the current retirement system, and he asks (quite rightly): are they crazy?
The reason for his article is that another commission has been created to look into member compensation and retirement benefits. Sadly, it seems again like the brunt of the budget reform will fall on the backs of members. I haven’t seen any commission looking at reforming superfluous spending in areas such as separate medical corps for each service (as opposed to one combined medical corps) or what defense contractors line up through Congress.
Come to think of it, I haven’t seen much press on these spending areas either – unlike the articles on those “exorbitant” member benefits like commissaries with 7 ketchup choices (as the Washington Post pointed out).
The old arguments for changes are being used again: there are members separating without any retirement (but no mention of the TSP that was available to them); and, the military needs to align itself with the civilian sector systems of 401(k)’s.
Mike addresses the issue of reform and has strong arguments as to why the current system works – and is fair. I’ll provide my points in my next entry, including why I think the 401(k) will be more harmful to members in the long run than the current system.
In the meantime, go to the article and post your thoughts – these are always good to read (plus they give me ideas for further columns).