Today I found out that over the next 10 years I can expect to see a 10% decrease in my military retirement. In the recently passed (House of Reps) Ryan/Murray budget plan is going to reduce the cost of living adjustments for military retirees to CPI less 1% until I turn 62.
And it could very well be more than a 10% reduction as the decrease will be compounded over the years.
Stunning on two fronts here.
First: Ryan!! Good grief, what a heartbreaker. Two years ago when he was Romney's running mate I really though he had grassroots conservative chops. I think we all did. He said all the right things about smaller government and liberty. He was what the ticket needed (supposedly) to overcome the deserved RINO tag affixed to Romney. He was even looking like a viable candidate in 2016.
But it looks like that wasn't exactly true.
Secondly: Senator (D) Patty Murray. She is from my neck of the woods. She made sneaker footwear in the rarefied air of politics famous before that nutjob in Texas was even out of grade school. But as you may have noted, she is a democrat through and through. I would never vote for her in a million years. And I say this even with the full knowledge that she chairs the veterans committee in the Senate and has for a few years. As far as I can tell she has been a strong advocate for veterans, but generally speaking, I'm not a single issue voter.
But this budget deal screws us veterans. I know that a lot of folks out their view our retirement as some sort of pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But as a retired E-8 (second highest enlisted rank) after 27.5 years, it not even close enough to live on, especially with a mortgage and two teenage boys. I feel that Sen Murray has really let us down
NOTE: while receiving about 70% of my pay sounds like a lot to those who did not serve, I'm actually bringing home about 65% each month what I made every two weeks. My actual take home retirement pay is now about 40% of what i was making while on active duty. While active duty I didn't pay for health and dental and paid very little to cover my family (it was once ALL free). My life insurance payments for $400,000 benefit was about $20.00 a month is now about $145.00. If I died while on active duty my wife would have received a monthly survivor benefit. To keep that now that I am retired we pay over $180.00 a month. One more thing to consider. Not all of us fall into great mid-level or higher government jobs. I worked retail and drove a truck for two years before I started working for the railroad. Don't get me wrong, having the retirement pay is nice and it does a great job of supplementing the work I have now. But to have 10% cut from my earnings over the next 10 years is going to hurt. Especially when I really do retire. That 10% loss will NOT be made up.
And while this new budget does ask the government civilian work force to start paying more into their retirement earnings, it grandfathers current civilians. Only new hires will be expected to pay more into their retirement accounts. This cut to military retirement pay will impact both current active duty AND retired military personnel.