On March 30, the White House signaled its support for the controversial changes to military retirement and health care systems, but the president stopped short of endorsing the 15 recommendations from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.
The recommendations could reduce military pensions by 20%, create investment accounts for all troops, and call for the end of Tricare as it exists now. In place of Tricare, families and troops would be offered insurance policies comparable those offered to civilians, reports Military Times reporter Andrew Tilghman. Additionally, the changes would allow the military to offer retirement benefits to those who serve less than 20 years, and the Defense Department would offer to match troops’ own retirement savings up to 5% of basic pay.
“I believe the recommendations are an important step forward in protecting the long-term viability of the all-volunteer force, improving quality-of-life for service members and their families, and ensuring the fiscal sustainability of the military compensation and retirement systems,” Obama wrote in a letter to the compensation commission.