CBO Report: Cut Military Pay and Benefits
Congress returned to
Capitol Hill this week for a post-election, lame duck session and
lawmakers are working to find alternatives to the mandated $1.2 trillion
in budget cuts (sequestration) scheduled to take effect on January 1,
2013. Related to this, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a
“Costs of Military Pay and Benefits in the Defense Budget”
report that suggests reducing military pay and benefits may be key to
cutting total Defense spending.
Since DoD has had no difficulty in recruiting and
retaining service members in recent years, the report contends the cuts
would have no negative impact and, if problems develop, CBO suggests
increasing enlistment and re-enlistment bonuses, which would provide
additional long-term savings since such bonuses are excluded from
retirement pay calculations.
long-term plan to reduce annual active duty pay raises beginning in FY
2015 is also cited in the publication and, consistent with DoD’s
budget request for 2013, CBO also recommends shifting more health care
costs to military retirees and their families.
The report further suggests
budget savings by replacing the current military retirement benefit with
a pre-tax Thrift Savings Plan to, in effect, “civilianize”
benefits for future retirees.
The full report is available
at www.cbo.gov, along with another
recent deficit-reduction report entitled “Choices for Deficit
Reduction.” There are significant
threats to compensation, health care and benefit programs and FRA is
closely tracking budget negotiations, Senate work on the FY 2013 Defense
Authorization bill and other legislative issues and will alert our
membership as action on Capitol Hill warrants.
The FRA Action
pre-written messages on these and other important legislative issues
that can be edited by the sender. The
substantial increase in Action Center usage this session of Congress has been tremendously helpful to
the FRA Legislative Team working Capitol Hill on your behalf. FRA will
continue to monitor budget negotiations and will alert the membership of
any pending legislative threats.