NEED FOR AN EARLY RETIREMENT FIX!
Please take a moment to contact members of the House urging them to call the leadership of the House Armed Services Committee. The National Defense Authorization Act is in conference, and the Senate included a provision to correct the current law.
Support Senate Provision, Section 660
to include a correction to Early Retirement
in the National Defense Authorization Act.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, included an early retirement provision for those Guard and Reserve members who will be mobilizing after January 28, 2008, but left ineligible 600,000 who have already served since 9/11/2001. This is not equitable.
The reason given by Congressional leaders is that it would cost $2.1 billion over ten years. In a year when money is given to banks and automakers, it is not fair that those who mobilize to defend this country are ignored. Reservists and National Guardsmen are taking the same risks as Active Duty members who are deployed, yet receive different retirement compensation.
Among the 600,000, over 200,000 Reserve Component members have been mobilized more than once. These young men and women have served and sacrificed, putting their private lives and civilian careers on hold to mobilize in support of our country. This provision would pay back some of the retirement accruement lost from their civilian job. To exclude their contributions is inconsiderate!
Please act now by contacting your elected House official to have them urge HASC members to support this Senate provision Sec. 660. The Guard and Reserve members in your district will thank you.
Here's the Facts!
Early Retirement falls SHORT.
1. Congress passed Early Retirement...
2. Yet with 90 days reduction for 90 day service...
3. New program began on January 28, 2008 for mobilization thereafter.
4. All earlier service excluded. - Service between 9/11/2001 and 1/2008 doesn't count.
5. Over 700,000 Guard and Reserve have mobilized, but..
6. Service of 600,00 RC members is ineligible.
7. These individuals will have to do additional service to reduce their retirement age.
8. Congress's excuse is a $2.1 billion dollar cost spread over 10 years.
9. ROA was first out of the gate to take action!
10. Worked with Senators Chambliss and Kerry to introduce a corrective measure.
11. Senate NDAA provision Sec. 660 extends eligibility back to 9/11/2001.
12. Not included in the House version of the National Defense Authorization
13. Section 660 needs support in the House.
Sens. Kerry and Chambliss letter to colleagues (pdf)
ROA's Position Paper on Early Retirement
ROA's Early Retirement Resolution 09-08
Service Without Benefit
Congress misfires on original Early Retirement. The clarification ROA received on early retirement was, “Effective, date of enactment it is not retroactive due to the extremely high cost.” Only those serving on contingency operations after Jan 28, 2008 get credit toward earlier retirement. The Congressional Budget Office calculated that the cost over 10 years would be $2.1 billion dollars, if the bill was retoractive to when Guard and Reserve members were first called up.
ROA began conversations with several Capitol Hill offices seeking corrective legislation to restore retroactive eligiblity for those who served earlier. In 2009, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) reintroduced legislation to correct the eligibility date to September 11, 2001. While the bill was not included in the mark-up of the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Bill (S.1390), Sens. Kerry and Chambliss were successful at adding it as an amendment. The Senate passed the NDAA on July 23, 2009. It was sent to the House for consideration.
“Providing our Guard and Reserve retroactive credit for retirement benefits they’ve rightfully earned is one small way we can honor their tremendous sacrifices.” Sen. John Kerry, 7/27/09
“The way we rely on our National Guard and Reserve has fundamentally changed since September 11, 2001 ... We need our military personnel and their families to know that we stand behind them and honor the great sacrifices they make on behalf of our nation.” Sen. Saxby Chambliss, 7/27/09
"These citizen soldiers have grown from a strategic reserve to an operation force that has seen combat overseas. Their service and sacrifice should be counted.” Rep. Joe Wilson, 2/25/09