Military Retirement Reform: A Review of Proposals and Options for Congress [November 17, 2011] [open pdf - 377KB]
"Few military subjects have generated as much interest or commentary as the military retirement system and efforts to reform the system have been many. Heightened concern over the national debt crisis, the economic recession, and stubbornly high unemployment has resulted in renewed congressional interest in the cost and effectiveness of the system. This report reviews various reform proposals and presents several potential options for Congress, ranging from maintaining the current system to a national commission to review military compensation, benefits, and retirement. […] A review of past legislative proposals finds that they have been controversial, unpopular with DOD and servicemembers, and generally focused on reducing the cost of military retirement. The Redux option, in particular, has become a less attractive option and fewer and fewer servicemembers are selecting it. The cost factor, combined with the recent emphasis on reducing costs in DOD and the overall federal deficit, resulted in a number of studies, commissions and reports in 2010. However, these efforts did not result in comprehensive policy changes. In addition to the most recent commission and think tank reports, two other efforts within the past five years included detailed recommendations for retirement reform. The 2005 Defense Advisory Committee on Military Compensation (DACMC) established a framework for a comprehensive restructuring of military retirement. This was followed in 2008 by the 10th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC) that further modeled, refined, and amplified on the work of the DACMC. Both efforts supported applying a reformed military retirement system to new entrants only; currently serving and already retired members would be grandfathered."
CRS Report for Congress, R42087