Military retirees are being cheated out of their full pensions under the budget deal approved by Congress, and President Obama should veto the bill.
“There must be a better way to reduce spending than by breaking faith with our retired military personnel. It is especially outrageous that civilian workers are not affected by this pension change, which is unequal and unfair, ” said Gary Stubblefield, a former Navy SEAL and chairman of Special Operations for America.
“As commander in chief, President Obama is the leader of the nation’s armed forces and he has a duty to protect the interests of all military members, both active and retired. He needs to veto the bill,” said Stubblefield.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), cuts military pensions by $6 billion through a 1% reduction in the annual cost-of-living inflation adjustment for retirees under the age of 62. The change will be costly: a sergeant first class who retires at 42 would lose more than $70,000 over the course of 20 years, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
“It is shameful that the government is targeting the retirement pensions of men and women who put their lives on the line for their country. That is wrong. These cuts will disrupt lives and families, and violate a sacred trust. Congress needs to find a way to reduce spending without burdening our retired military with benefit cuts that are borne only by them, and not their civilian counterparts,” said Stubblefield.