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Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission

Posted By Reserve Officers Association, Thursday, January 29, 2015
Updated: Friday, May 13, 2016

Today, ROA attended a briefing to review the commission report recommendations prior to public release. Chaiman Alphonso Maldon, Jr., thanked the Military Service Organizations and Veteran Service Organizations for their input.

ROA testified before the commission on November 13, 2013 and met with commissioners April 10, 2014. Additionally, commission members met with more than 100,000 active duty service members, Reserve Component members, veterans, retirees, and their families. They also interacted with 150 government agencies, military advocates, research institutions, and related interest groups.

Both House and Senate leadership have already stated they will be considering the 15 commission recommendations when they prepare the Fiscal Year 2016 Department of Defense budget and National Defense Authorization Act. One of the reasons for the strong interest is, if fully implemented, the recommendations would save $4.8 billion in 2016 with savings each year through 2055 when it would save $8.7 billion.

Chairman Maldon stated the commission was guided by an overarching imperative to maintain the all-volunteer force during both peacetime and wartime. To do that, they focused on the structure of pay and benefits and not the level of pay and benefits.

Going forward, ROA will analyze the recommendations to identify those that affect the Reserve Components and evaluate which ones require Congressional action. We will continue to keep ROA members informed and we encourage the Departments and Chapters to submit any proposed ROA resolutions they believe are necessary.

The report is available on http://mldc.whs.mil/

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Blended Retirement

  • Give everyone a TSP account with a government contribution of 1% then auto enroll military members with a self contribution of 3%. The government will match up to 5% (plus the 1%).
  • Each year individuals can disenroll from the 3% contribution. Everyone gets 1% regardless. Individuals are vested at the first day of the 3rd year.
  • New retirement continuation pay will be established at 12 years of service to help maintain force profiles. There is a very long timeline for implementation.

2. Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)

  • Create a secondary SBP so members have a choice to opt-out of the offset provision, however, they will pay a higher premium.
  • Provide a one-time Open Season to opt-in to the new SBP program.
  • The existing SBP program would keep the offset.

3. Financial Literacy

  • Increase the frequency and strengthen the content of financial literacy training and provide on a regular basis throughout the service member's career.
  • It would be far more robust then the current program.

4. Reserve Component Statuses

  • Reduce the number of status from 30 to 6 broader statuses and only require new orders when the authority changes.
  • There was not a clear path for modernization so they did not address the 2 days of pay versus 1 day of inactive duty pay.

5. Joint Readiness

  • Establish a Joint Readiness Command and a Joint Staff Medical Readiness Directorate. The services would keep the three surgeon generals who would come under this broader umbrella.
  • Establish Essential Medical Capabilities to ensure certain critical medical capabilities in the military.

6. Healthcare Benefit

  • End TRICARE and replace with a new DoD health program to offer a selection of commercial insurance plans to other beneficiaries.
  • Service members would continue to receive health care from the unit of MTF.
  • Service members would receive a Basic Allowance for Health Care (BAHC) to offset the vast majority of health cost shares for family members.
  • Increases would occur for non-Medicare eligible retirees cost shares gradually over 15 years; would change cost share from 5% to 20%.
  • Institute a program of education and benefits counseling.
  • Finance health care programs through trust funds.
  • OPM would solicit for the medical plans based on the DoD set of criteria.
  • TRICARE for Life would not go away.

7. Extended Care Health Option (ECHO)

  • Increase services covered through ECHO to be comparable to what is provided by the state’s Medicaid waiver program.

8. DoD-VA Collaboration

  • Grant additional authorities and responsibilities to the Joint Executive Committee (JEC) to standardize and enforce collaboration.
  • Make the JEC part of the budget process.

9. Commissaries and Exchanges

  • Maintain the grocery savings but consolidate the commissaries and three exchange systems into a single Defense Resale Activity.

10. Childcare

  • Reestablish authority to use operating funds for minor construction projects for Child Development Program facilities.

11. Service Member Education

  • Sunset several education programs (MGIB-AD and REAP).
  • Increase Post-9/11 GI Bill transferability requirements to 10 years of service (YOS) plus add an additional commitment of 2 YOS to provide stronger retention incentives.
  • Sunset housing stipends for dependents on July 1, 2017.
  • Eliminate eligibility for unemployment insurance.

12. Transition Assistance

  • Require mandatory participation.
  • Review the core curriculum to ensure it meets the needs of the Service member.
  • Encourage states "One-Stop Career Center” employees to attend Transition GPS classes.

13. Nutrition Assistance

  • Sunset the Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) where Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) are available as it is a richer program with less stigma attached
  • Retain FSSA for families stationed overseas.

14. Space A Travel

  • Allow unaccompanied dependents of Service members deployed for at least 30 days to use Space-A travel.

15. Military Student Identifier

  • Establish a national military dependent student identified.

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