Sweetening retirement benefits for military personnel could be costly and would not make it easier for the armed forces to retain midcareer employees, according to a General Accounting Office report released yesterday at hearings by the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel. The report estimates boosting retirement benefits could mean $13 billion in increased costs and unfunded pension liabilities. Moreover, armed forces personnel might prefer pay increases to increased benefits, the report said.
The pay and retirement proposals offered by the Department of Defense and the Senate are not silver bullets that will solve the retention problem there is the risk that once we spend the money to implement all these proposals, we will likely still be confronted with lagging readiness, Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind. subcommittee chairman, noted at the hearing.
The Senate approved legislation two days ago to boost pay and retirement benefits for military personnel; the increase is more than the Clinton administration proposed in its fiscal 2000 federal budget.