http://news.yahoo.com/military-pension-cuts-now-unsure-122851079.html Here's the link again, and here's #5's topic--retirement.
From the article, "The military retirement system is unfair and costly. Only 17 percent of service members — those who serve 20 years — get pensions, the Pentagon says. Most people don't stay that long, meaning 83 percent who serve less than two decades get no retirement pay."
First I want to know who in their right mind thinks life is actually fair?! If you think that life is fair, you need to get over your entitled self. Nothing in life is fair. God never promised us a fair life. He never promised we wouldn't struggle. He simply promised to be there for us during the struggle.
As a country, we have to stop trying to make everything fair. We all are different and we all have gifts to give. We should celebrate what makes us different and work together to make everything better, not fair. Rather than sitting around and crying that it's "not fair" get off your ass and work for what you need and want. "It's not fair they have that car," then save and go buy it. "It's not fair she's skinnier," go work out. There is a solution to your "it's not fair," it's called hard work.
The reality train hit me around the age of 13 and since then I have made my own way. You want to talk about not fair.....no child should have to grow up over night. I have worked for everything I have. I paid for my first cell phone, college education, wedding, house, cars, everything. I don't sit around whining about what's "not fair." Instead I work my ass off so I can provide what our family needs and even some wants. Our primary wage earner cannot go earn wages for our family like he did before. That now all falls on me. Is that fair? No it's not, but this is the journey The Lord wants us on and I will not whine about it. I will be thankful that I am able to work and I will be thankful for the incredible job I have.
I married a man who believes the same way. We believe the harder we work and the more thankful we are to plant the seeds of hope, the more blessings will be given in the times needed. Everything really does work out, but it's very rarely fair. We've never looked for "the fair" in life. We have embraced the suck and made the best out of it. We have celebrated the blessings and looked to those blessings to get us through the suck when it occurs.
Here's how I feel about the military pension. If you want to serve 20 years and put your body and family through Hell you deserve that check that comes every month. If you are so envious of this "unfair advantage," then go sign up for the military. Everyone has the opportunity to serve our country for 20 years and get that check. It's not unfair that you don't receive it, you made that choice not to serve just like I did. I chose to work in the private sector. I am working and saving for my retirement. I am not whining about how it's not fair that military retirees receive their pension upon serving 20 years.
Back to the article, "But someone who enters the military at age 18 and stays 20 years starts drawing pension checks worth half their base salary immediately at age 38 — rather than having to wait until their 60s — and gets the payments for life. It's a practice without parallel in the private sector, though some government agencies such as city police departments do it."
"Critics say 40 years of pension for 20 years of work is overly generous, but retirees say they deserve it for doing risky jobs that are tough on them and their families and that the overwhelming majority of Americans don't volunteer for."
"A Navy Chief Petty Officer who earned $80,000 a year, is married and served for 20 years can immediately get a pension of about $2,200 monthly that would grow with cost-of-living increases."
You want to talk about not fair? Read this in your spare time. http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid=%270E%2C*PLC8%22%40%20%20%0A I'll save you some time. Our Congresspersons only have to serve 5 years to obtain their pension at age 62. (pg 3) Please understand our elected officials are paid $174,000 per year for their service. How much do the soldiers make? Oh that's right they just make a fraction of that. (Just tossing that out there). How often are Congresspersons placed in life threatening situations in that 5 year term? How many days out of the 5 years are they locked and loaded praying they don't lose any one that day?
"The smallest starting pension under CSRS is 12.5% of high-3 salary for a Member with five years of service." (pg 9) Let's look at that. ($174,000 x .125 x 5 =108,750) Yes they collect $108,750 minimum at age 62. At age 62, our military retirees with 20 years of service collects $26,400 per year. How "fair" does that seem?
http://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/retirement_for_members.shtml Notice that "By law, the starting amount of a member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80 percent of his or her final salary." $139,200 is 80% of that $174,000 per year. And somehow we are worried about service members with 20 years in collecting $2,200 per month? We can pay 5 military retirees per year for the same cost of paying one Congressperson using their lowest compensation. (Yes re-read that sentence and let it sink in.)
Back to the article, "There are nearly 2 million retirees currently getting military pensions at an annual cost to the Defense Department of $4.5 billion. Of those, 840,000 are under 62 — and more than 80 percent of those were enlisted, as opposed to higher-paid officers."
What are the numbers on our retired Congresspersons and what they receive? What does that cost us? I am curious to see those numbers. I can tell you what they cost us every year while they are active. There are 100 Senators and 435 in the House. That equals 535 elected officials. They all make a minimum of $174,000 per year. What's 535 times $174,000? $93,090,000 is the total, but that's not accurate because the majority leaders, speaker of house and so on get extra pays, but you get the idea.
I understand that the military pension system might be outdated. But if you are going to change it, you need to make sure our military personnel are going to be receiving the same (if not better) benefits then they are now. And if Congress is going to come out and say the military who serve 20 years shouldn't get paid for 40, then my comment is you shouldn't be paid at all for your 5 years. And you serve 5 and retire at 62, you could live to be 102, so how is 5 for 40 any more justified then 20 for 40?
I am not saying our Congresspersons don't deserve compensation for their service. What I am saying is if the military's compensation for service to the nation is on the chopping block, then Congress should offer up their funds as well. That is the only way to "play fair" in this fight.