No Changes to Military Retirement Anytime Soon, Officials Say

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2011 — The mil­i­tary retire­ment isn’t going to change any time soon, Defense Depart­ment offi­cials said.

“There’s no imme­di­ate plan to affect retire­ment,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told ser­vice mem­bers at Kan­da­har Air­field, Afghanistan, July 31.

The chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said any changes to mil­i­tary retire­ment should be stud­ied care­ful­ly and should be “grand­fa­thered” so the mil­i­tary doesn’t break faith with those in the ser­vice.

Pen­ta­gon offi­cials are review­ing all areas of the defense bud­get, and the goal of the review is to “inform the deci­sions and strate­gies that we have to make,” Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta said Aug. 4.

“So that’s going to be key to what deci­sions we make and what areas we look to for sav­ings,” the sec­re­tary added.

In sup­port of the department’s effi­cien­cy ini­tia­tives, a small group of Defense Busi­ness Board mem­bers was tasked to devel­op alter­na­tive plans to the cur­rent mil­i­tary retire­ment sys­tem. The group briefed its find­ings and draft rec­om­men­da­tions to the full board dur­ing their July 21 quar­ter­ly meet­ing. The full board approved the rec­om­men­da­tions, and the group will issue a final report by the end of this month.

The Defense Busi­ness Board pro­vides DOD’s senior lead­ers inde­pen­dent advice and rec­om­men­da­tions “on effec­tive strate­gies for the imple­men­ta­tion of best busi­ness prac­tices on mat­ters of inter­est to the Depart­ment of Defense,” accord­ing to Pen­ta­gon offi­cials.

Mean­while, a Pen­ta­gon spokes­woman said, offi­cials are review­ing the board’s rec­om­men­da­tions.

“Any rec­om­men­da­tion to change the mil­i­tary retire­ment sys­tem must be approached with thought­ful analy­sis, to include con­sid­er­a­tions of impacts to recruit­ing and reten­tion,” Eileen Lainez said. “While the mil­i­tary retire­ment sys­tem, as with all oth­er com­pen­sa­tion, is a fair sub­ject of review for effec­tive­ness and effi­cien­cy, no changes to the cur­rent retire­ment sys­tem have been approved, and no changes will be made with­out care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion for both the cur­rent force and the future force.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)