Lawmakers Have Finalized Proposed Reforms To New Retirement Plan

U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rashene Mincy

Negotiations on how best to overhaul the military’s retirement system have concluded with lawmakers agreeing to keep in a lump-sum payout for troops who served less than 20 years. Opponents to the lump-sum payout argue that it could tempt troops to go for quick cash, rather than recouping their full retirement benefits.

The new retirement system would replace the current 20-year all-or-nothing plan, which Pentagon officials estimate only 17% of troops receive. It would also reduce the post 20-year payout by roughly 20%, but offer a continuation pay bonus for service members who stay in beyond 12 years. The new system also provides an automatic federal payout totaling 1% of troops’ base pay. Troops would be able to have their contributions matched by up to 5%.

The new retirement plan will be mandatory for all new service members who join after Jan. 1, 2018, and allows those who served fewer than 12 years to opt in to the new system or keep the old retirement plan.

The House is expected to vote on the measure on Thursday. No date has been scheduled for a Senate vote.

Veterans are pushing back against a Wall Street Journal op-ed, in which a woman with no military experience argued that women do not belong in combat units.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump was reeling from sharp rebukes at home and abroad over his surprise announcement last month to immediately pull American troops out of Syria when he flew into the al Asad airbase in neighboring Iraq the day after Christmas.

Inside a canvas Quonset hut, one of the arced prefabricated structures used by the military and surrounded by concertina wire, Trump received operational briefs from U.S. commanders suggesting a territorial victory against Islamic State was within sight, but the military needed just a bit more time, U.S. officials said.

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Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lisa Ferdinando

The Coast Guard's top officer is telling his subordinates to "stay the course" after they missed their regularly scheduled paycheck amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

In a message to the force sent Tuesday, Adm. Karl L. Schultz said both he and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary remain "fully engaged" on the missing pay issue, which have caused "anxiety and uncertainty" for Coasties and their families.

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After years of frequent mechanical failures ad embarrassing cost overruns, the Navy finally plans on deploying three hulls from its much-derided Littoral Combat Ship fleet by this fall after a protracted absence from the high seas, the U.S. Naval Institute reports.

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