Currently Serving and Retirees – Pay Cuts Affect Us All

Balance-Budget-on-Backs-(2)With the proposed Ryan-Murray budget deal being voted on this week, military retirees are being urged to let their Congressional Members know how the Cost-of-Living-Adjustments (COLA) cap on military retired pay will adversely affect them over the course of their retirement. But this is only one part of the Congressional attack on compensation aimed at both the currently-serving and retirees.

Let’s not forget that the other deal announced recently — the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (NDAA) — inflicts some pay pain on those currently-serving, which will translate to more pain when they retire. Our active duty service members should be getting a 1.8 percent pay raise, but the NDAA provides only a 1 percent raise.

And, oh by the way, in 2014, retirees will receive their full 1.7 percent COLA. The phase-in of the reduction in the COLA for retirees ages 62 and under, called for in the budget bill, doesn’t start until 2015 and will happen over 3 years. Projections on active duty pay call for smaller raises than the civilian wage increase during that time. So even if the phase-in of the reduced retired pay goes into effect, those currently serving will probably receive a few smaller pay increases than retirees. And remember, smaller active duty pay raises translate into lower retiree pay when that active duty member retires.

Congressional decisions are spreading the pain to all military people in a way disproportionate to the rest of the Nation. We firmly believe the changes in pay and retirement should not have been done piecemeal by Congress without waiting for the recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, established to study compensation and retirement.

We can’t talk about the harm to one group of our community without talking about the damage long term to the folks serving now if they’re denied the pay raises equal to civilian wage growth. The families of our future retirees are getting a double whammy–one punch is the lower pay raise now and the other is the lower retiree COLAs in the future. At least there will be a catch-up for the retirees when they turn 62. There’s no catch-up on active duty pay losses.

Let’s make our leaders understand the effects these deals AND continued sequestration are having on all military people.

Let Congress know that budgets should not be balanced on the backs of those who have already given so much. Despite the urgency on the budget bill, we need to focus on the effects to entire life cycle of service – from currently serving to retired. Write your Members of Congress and let them know how you feel.

And, on another note, with these hits to military families’ wallets, commissary savings become even more important! We continue to urge the Department of Defense to preserve the commissary system and the savings it provides.

How Are Military Families Doing? What Researchers Are Discovering.Posted by Joyce Wessel Raezer, Executive Director


Add yours
  1. 2
    Letter to Congress: Stop Throwing Our Military Under the Bus | A God-blessed Life

    […] On December 20, 2103, you are going to vote on the joke you call a bipartisan Ryan-Murray effort to balance the budget.  Among the proposals is the section where you throw our military under the bus, AGAIN, to “significantly reduce the retirement of the currently serving military and military retirees (to the tune of $83,000 for an average enlisted retiree, $124,000 for an average officer retiree).”  As Ms. Raezer at National Military Family Association states in her article addressing this: “We can’t talk about the harm to one group of our community without talking about the damage… […]

  2. 4
    Wendall Miller

    On the backs of those that give and are willing to give their lives in service to this nation we add more to bear and take more away from them. Most suffer in silence and this is what they receive……LESS.
    Where is the honor in our elected officials to protect those that protect all of us. Not in 8 hour shifts but 24 hours a day.
    When was the last time a member of congress or federal official lost benefits

  3. 5
    Carole McCoy

    As a retired wife of an air force officer who served during the Viet Nam conflict, Cuban Crisis, from 1960-1980, These families deserve our loyalist commitment and safety. Only those of us who have lived thru loved ones in a war zone or conflict know what we give up and the daily fear and worry for our loved ones. Unfortunately we have a congress, senate, and whitehouse full of self serving, uncaring, and CARELESS men and women. WAKE UP AMERICANS and protect those who have for over 200 years now protect this country we love. I’ll fight for military rights until the day I die!!!!

  4. 7

    I’m currently serving 13 years, looking at my fourth combat tour, and my term is indefinite (which means I volunteered for my career to go on until I retire).
    So a congressman/woman who gets paid WAY more than I do, does not have to serve 20 years (to get a small retirement, while theirs is huge), does not get shot at, blown up, rolled over in a vehicle, conduct combat (under fire) missions, is not waking up at 0300 and going to bed at 0900 the following day, and has more rights (oh and can say they quit) than I do…they can cut my pay? I would LOVE to see them overseas with me as the bullets fly around them and mortars go off. So I could look at their greedy cowardly faces and ask them, “Do you see what you’re taking from me now?”
    And then as they get on the plane to go back home, pants still stained with dust and urine, I dare them to look back at our sand covered faces. Because we serve even them, and WE support and defend the constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic. So my final question is this: Does that mean congress is becoming the enemy of the United States?

  5. 8
    L J Hines

    My spouse , gave 24 years to his country now the United States congress wish to play with our lifehood .We and other retires &active duty barley make it .Why don’t they cut their pay to active duty and trying to live of a retirment payment see how they like it .Peace

Leave a Reply