Mullen reins in rumors on retirement changes


Adm. Mike Mullen // DoD

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen told service members in Afghanistan that the Defense Department had no immediate plans to change retirement benefits for service members.

He did say that DoD is looking for ways to tighten the belt and left open the possibility for future changes.

According to a DoD release:

“There’s no immediate plan to affect retirement,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told service members at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, July 31.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said any changes to military retirement should be studied carefully and should be “grandfathered” so the military doesn’t break faith with those in the service.

Pentagon officials are reviewing all areas of the defense budget, and the goal of the review is to “inform the decisions and strategies that we have to make,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Aug. 4.

“So that’s going to be key to what decisions we make and what areas we look to for savings,” the secretary added.

DoD spokeswoman Eileen Lainez also said in the release changes could be on the horizon but that they would have to be carefully considered, citing the impact on recruiting and retention.

“Any recommendation to change the military retirement system must be approached with thoughtful analysis, to include considerations of impacts to recruiting and retention,” Lainez said. “While the military retirement system, as with all other compensation, is a fair subject of review for effectiveness and efficiency, no changes to the current retirement system have been approved, and no changes will be made without careful consideration for both the current force and the future force.”



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