Military Pensions Could Be Cut Under Proposed Budget Deal

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

Waynesboro, Va. (WHSV) Under the proposed federal budget deal, the military pension cost of living raises would be cut by one percent for retirees under the age of 62.

Jeff Jones who served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years said this would impact his yearly budget. He uses his pension as part of his income.

"It is enough to say I have to do things differently this year or next year when that happens. Tighten the belt like everybody does. Tighten the belt here and there," said Jones.

He said when he enlisted, the government offered retirement benefits for serving more than 20 years.

"There is that little aspect that we are being betrayed, again by people who don't know what the military is like," said Jones.

According to political analyst David McQuilkin, pensions are a large portion of the military budget.

"Military as well as federal are easy targets, they don't have many opportunities to resist or to complain so those are the ones they attack first," said McQuilkin.

According to the Military Officers Association of America, a group that opposes the deal, those who retire after serving 20 years would see a 20 percent cut by the time they are 62.

For a retiring Sergeant First Class, this could mean an average loss of $3,700, according to the MOAA. This could add up to about $80,000 over 20 years.

Jones said Congress should look at other areas it can cut its budget.

"There were times on those 20 years that I could have or would have or was putting my life on the line for my government and they said this is what would happen if you do that and now they say they won't," said Jones.

McQuilkin said he expects the Senate to pass the budget deal but it may be a close vote. He said some Republicans may not vote for the budget deal, if they are seeking reelection.


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