December 18th, 2013
10:37 AM ET

Military Retirees: You Betrayed Us, Congress

Military retirees are outraged that Congress will start voting Thursday on a budget deal that trims military pensions, calling the move "an egregious breach of faith."

"The Democratic Senate Armed Services Chairman says they are going look at this in the new year when Congress returns. But they are up against, certainly, some lawmakers who think that this is terrible," CNN's Dana Bash reports.

The Military Coalition, some 27 military groups, wrote to leaders in Congress and President Obama late Wednesday about their "strong objection" and "grave concern" over the budget deal.

The deal cuts pension cost of living raises by 1 percentage point for military retirees who aren't disabled and not yet 62 years old. Cost of living hikes are automatic raises intended to keep up with inflation.

The problem is, most military retirees are a lot younger than private sector retirees. They enlist in their 20's and retire in their 40's. Very few stay on till they are 62 - those who may be lucky enough to escape major injuries at war, or rose to higher echelons in the military system.

When compounded, the 1 percentage point cut could result in much more than a 20% reduction in retiree pensions over 20 years.

Senator Patty Murray responded on “New Day” Wednesday saying this provision was just one of many compromises. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

"There's things in this I like. There are things in this I don't like," Senator Murray said.

"But at the end of the day, if we couldn't find a compromise on how we move forward, then we would be facing a $20 billion hit to our defense industry—meaning layoffs, and uncertainty, and a lot of furloughs harming a lot of families across the country.”

 

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Dick

    Every dishonorable (I will say honorable when they deserve it) Congressional member ought to be given a 60 day furlough for the purpose of spending that amount of time living the life of an active duty service member to include the assignment to the war zone. Their attitude toward the active duty forces, military veterans and military retirees would change real quick. Mr. President you keep saying you will use your pen if Congress won't give you what you
    want – well Mr. President use your damn pen to send these worthless jack rabbits to 60 days of the hell active duty service members go through on a daily basis.

    March 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  2. James Branson

    So Military Retirees have to pay the price again! Not enough that we served this country for 20 plus years in places most feared to go while most in congress were home in their comfortable beds. Now they dishonor all retirees by cutting the little money we earned protecting this great nation! It time for veterans to start running for office and other veterans to start backing the ones running!!!

    December 23, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  3. Ben

    I intend to let my vote and my political voice be heard louder from now on. I will never vote for a party again. If you are an incumbent, you should be voted out of office. This is disgraceful. How many other promises and contracts are you people in government going to push aside? Way to take care of those who took care of you!

    December 18, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Reply

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