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For the second consecutive year the administration seeks a pay cap at 1 percent. This is 0.8 percent below private sector wage growth. The troops’ last three raises averaged less than 1.4 percent. The FY 2014 pay raise was the smallest in 50 years. DoD has capped pay before but it undermined both retention and readiness. Previous cuts required a “fix” to the defense budget over the past decade to reverse those effects, which is also being mischaracterized by the Pentagon today.
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and Commissary subsidies will both be reduced resulting in significant loss in purchasing power for military families.
The services have already accelerated a drawdown of 124,000 active and reserve component servicemembers by two years. The budget calls for an additional 78,000-plus in cuts to end strength.To accomplish these goals, the services will be forced to use involuntary measures such as Reduction In Force (RIF) boards, selective early retirement boards, and reenlistment limitations.
The administration is proposing TRICARE copay and deductible increases, as well as establishing enrollment fees. Additionally, they are seeking to consolidate TRICARE programs for retirees under 65 and active duty family members. The administration plans to eliminate TRICARE Prime, the managed care option, leaving only a fee for service option (similar to existing TRICARE Standard and Extra) for retirees and families.
MOAA understands the difficult predicament the Pentagon now faces and we agree that ending the harmful effects of sequestration must be accomplished. But the “quadruple whammy” of capping pay, increasing out-of-pocket housing expenses, slashing commissary benefits, and cutting health care benefits would be four giant steps toward repeating the unwise measures which led to retention and readiness problems in the past. View MOAA’s Virtual Town Hall which addressed these
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The Pentagon’s 2015 Budget proposes cuts to military benefits that will significantly reduce the purchasing power of military families, and lead to retention & readiness problems.
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