December’s congressional budget deal will shave the pensions of many career soldiers via cost-of-adjustment changes — but top brass will be unaffected.
Retirement benefits for senior officers that were changed in 2003 to retain them during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then 2007 for similar purposes, will not have their pensions altered, USA Today reported.
Currently, four-star officers who retire with 40 years of experience will receive a pension of $237,144, the Pentagon said. Officers with 38 years of service saw an $84,000 pension jump due to changes to the system in 2007, USA Today reported.
“Elevating pension benefits to retain generals in wartime might make sense, but the next time we go to war, most of the senior officers in the force today will be retired,” Loren Thompson, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute and a defense industry consultant told USA Today.
After 20 years of service, all qualified soldiers receive pensions calculated at 50 percent of final pay with an additional 2.5 percentage points for each year of service beyond 20. Budget cuts put in place at the end of the year are projected to save $6 billion.
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