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Old 12-19-2013, 01:39 PM
 
12,404 posts, read 9,209,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPRetired View Post
This may seem like a silly question, But I've recently been debating others, both military retirees as well as non-military who feel that a) the defined benefit plan that military members get after 20 years is unfair and a burden on society and b) we should be paying FAR more for our Tricare benefits.

I enlisted in 1991 and decided at some point along the way to make it a career. I didn't intend to at the start of my initial enlistment but military life kind of grew on me (like a fungus?) At any rate, at about year 10 came the make-or-break decision to go indef. Of course anyone who puts in a full 20, especially in line units, is essentially giving the people of the United States the best years of their life with regards to health.

I've heard all the arguments, that the exchange and commissary benefits give us an unfair advantage. I've heard that the military retirement was never intended to be the sole means of income for a military retiree. And recently I've begun to hear from some people that it should be acceptable to renegotiate the terms of our retirement after the fact and reduce our overly generous retirement benefits, and scale them down to something more along the lines of what our civilian counterparts get.

When presented with the facts that military members don't receive overtime, or shift differential pay, can't fluff their retirement in the final years by working massive amounts of overtime and don't have their food and housing allowances included in the computation of their retirement, all seems to go silent and I'm redirected to the old line of "You should have known that nothing is guaranteed, yada yada yada".

Maybe I'm being hard headed and not seeing things clearly. Do we have an unfair advantage over the rest of the Americans who actually get a pension? I'm willing to accept that a defined contribution plan may be the best way going forward. Of course this would require the DOD to overhaul the compensation system as a whole, but for those of us who have already done our part and retired, are we being too demanding of our country? I ask that seriously because as I stated earlier, there are quite a few people I've spoken with, including a retired Officer, who seem to think that we are grossly overcompensated in retirement. Thoughts?
'Unfair' is a nebulous concept. I wouldn't call it 'unfair' unless two people who work just as hard as each other get significantly unequal rewards for their work. So the question is, is their benefit too high considering how much they had to put in to get it?

This is a completely different question (albeit related) from whether we can 'afford' the benefit as a nation.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:04 PM
PFM
 
Location: Endicott, NY
102 posts, read 101,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyramidsurf View Post
I worked with guys who put in 30 years and now have a 75K per year pension. The very next month after retiring their last command magically converts a billet that was military to a DOD Civ position at the GS-15 level. They do 10+ years as a GS-15 making close to 200k with their pension and then retire at 65 with 100K worth of pension payments and free medical. These same people complain about people scamming the government when they're clearly trying to take all they can from it.
What pay grade, because that is more that the base pay of almost all enlisted. You don't get a GS-15 job as a retired E-7 unless you have a very special set of skills.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:17 PM
 
17,929 posts, read 9,854,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFM View Post
What pay grade, because that is more that the base pay of almost all enlisted. You don't get a GS-15 job as a retired E-7 unless you have a very special set of skills.
It's going to be relatively difficult for anyone short of a retired O-7 or above who manages to get that GS-15 job. Because his years of service can only count for one career or the other--not both--he has to give up either military retirement compensation or years to civilian compensation.

The percentage of O-7 and higher members who also retire from civil service out of the 1.9 million current military retirees is very small. A good percentage even of those who make that switch is going to be dead before they reach that second retirement.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:33 PM
 
5,106 posts, read 6,068,318 times
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I think the prior poster said E-7 not O-7.

Not many E-7s (SFC) come in directly as GS 15 although it could happen.

Not many O-7s (BG) come is as a GS at any level. Usually they are consultants or contractors. Some do come in as SESs but I guess the scenario you laid out would apply in that case.

But to the point made I have seen many senior military retire and magically come into gov't service as a GS 14 and GS 15 right away. Its a miracle /s/
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
5,877 posts, read 4,024,805 times
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The pensions aren't really that much and the wear and tear of the military lifestyle makes it a worthy benefit. However Tricare for life is insane. That is expensive. However in this current political atmosphere any politician who tries to cut any military/veterans budget is committing political suicide.

This is unfortunate because this unquestioned and unmonitored atmosphere leaves it rife for abuse. As a former service member (USMC) I see plenty of people who are "disabled" suddenly upon leaving the service and reap all sorts of mind boggling freebies and benefits. You can't question it because "Murrica and freedom!" is all you get back in your face. Any investigation into the matter would be met with torrents of "you're anti-American and hate freedom!"
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:34 PM
 
1,406 posts, read 2,151,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFM View Post
What pay grade, because that is more that the base pay of almost all enlisted. You don't get a GS-15 job as a retired E-7 unless you have a very special set of skills.
They were Navy O-6's. Not E-7's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
I think the prior poster said E-7 not O-7.

Not many E-7s (SFC) come in directly as GS 15 although it could happen.

Not many O-7s (BG) come is as a GS at any level. Usually they are consultants or contractors. Some do come in as SESs but I guess the scenario you laid out would apply in that case.

But to the point made I have seen many senior military retire and magically come into gov't service as a GS 14 and GS 15 right away. Its a miracle /s/
The ones I saw were Navy O-6's.

I've seen at least five in my career. I personally work with two.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:55 PM
 
2,563 posts, read 2,593,891 times
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The question of what's "fair" is sort of pointless. It is what it is until it's changed. Some people take the deal and make a career of the military, others take another path. The retirement benefits are part of what you earned.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:53 PM
PFM
 
Location: Endicott, NY
102 posts, read 101,764 times
Reputation: 219
O-6 level, happens all the time. I personally know 3 that retired in the last 2 years and stepped into nice setups - one at the Pentagon, the other two as contractors for the state. I don't see it as much different than the multitude of former Congress critters that are now "Consultants" or "Lobbyists". Is their retirement affected in the same manner?
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Old 12-20-2013, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 24,880,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John7777 View Post
The question of what's "fair" is sort of pointless. It is what it is until it's changed. Some people take the deal and make a career of the military, others take another path. The retirement benefits are part of what you earned.
absolutely - without it, I would have definitely went in another direction - you have to provide an incentive to recruit and retain good people.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,896 posts, read 5,868,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyramidsurf View Post
But, a fed's paycheck is usually much smaller (at least for the beginning of their career). They make money once they get to the GS-13 ranks and above. No PCS, so they can stretch on a house and build lots of equity. None of the AD BS that people have to put up with.

It's all a trade off. I know some DON civs who make a killing. They made GS-14/15 by 35 and sit there until the day they retire or go to SES.
Oh great. You might as well be speaking spanish as far as the non military on here are concerned. I hate when my son does this, as well.
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