Retirement Plan Hurting US Military: Study

'Inequitable, inefficient' system handcuffs brass, needs overhaul
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 2:45 PM CDT
Officials tell the Military Times that the vast majority of those who serve never come close to qualifying for retirement pay under the current 20-years-or-nothing system.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The retirement plan for the US military is "inequitable, inflexible, [and] inefficient," says a study released today by the Pentagon. It recommends the current system be swapped for a combination of cash and deferred compensation that kicks in with as few as 10 years of service, the Military Times reports, instead of the current 20-years-or-nothing version.

“The compensation system is actually shaping the force, rather than having the force managers be able to do any force-shaping,” said a former Defense official. A new program, with cash and deferred pay, he argues, would cost the government less while providing more benefits to service members. And with soldiers staying enlisted longer, recruiting costs would also be reduced.