On the table: Early reservist retirement pay

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. bruno

    bruno 5-Year Member Retired Staff Member

    Feb 2, 2008
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    This is an injustice that should get corrected. Despite this being sponsored by two Republicans, the Bush Administration and DoD beancounters lobbied hard for the last couple of years to keep this from happening and then once it was apparent that it was going to pass- lobbying to exclude all of those reservists who had deployed prior to the 2008 passage- which of course excluded virtually everyone. Either this is unjustified- at which point don't pass it (although it seems hard to argue given that the use of the USAR and ARNG has been far higher than at any time since WW2) or it is justified policy change- which means that of all people the hundreds of thousands of reservists mobilized and deployed , many for multiple deployments between 2002 and 2008 should certainly be included in this provision.

    "Retirement benefits for National Guard and reserve members, especially those mobilized for extended periods since Sept. 11, 2001, will be part of the focus of a Tuesday hearing when members of the Senate Armed Services Committee review reserve personnel issues.

    Drawing attention will be House and Senate bills that would expand on a 2008 law by making retroactive a formula that allows a Guard or reserve member to receive a military retirement check 90 days earlier for every 90 days of active-duty service.

    Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., is the chief sponsor of the Senate bill, S 644. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., is the chief sponsor of the House bill, HR 208.

    The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, which became law on Jan. 28, 2008, included a provision that allowed some reservists to receive military retired pay before age 60, which had been the starting age for annuities for National Guard and reserve members. However, credit for time spent on active duty applies only to mobilizations made after the bill was signed, and did not apply to more than 600,000 people who had been called up since the 9/11 attacks for active service.

    Chambliss and Wilson want the credit to retroactively apply to any service since the 9/11 attacks, but would maintain a minimum retirement age of 50 for checks to begin.

    During the Bush administration, the Defense Department opposed the change in retired pay, arguing it could end up hurting the services to allow any Guard and reserve member retire earlier. That opposition is the reason why the 2008 law applied only prospectively.
    Chambliss was prevented last year from trying to retroactively apply the mobilization credit when the Senate got bogged down in procedural problems and cut off almost all amendments to the 2009 defense policy bill.

    On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on personnel — a panel Chambliss once chaired — will be looking at recruiting and retention of the reserve components, including the retirement legislation"

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