A key service organization is criticizing a Senate Armed Services Committee subpanel for its changes to troop pay and benefits in the annual defense policy bill.
“The subcommittee mark is very disappointing,” retired Navy Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, president and CEO of the Military Officers Association of America, said in a statement.
On Wednesday the Armed Services Personnel subcommittee approved draft legislation that includes a benefits overhaul proposed by a blue-ribbon compensation commission. The plan would switch from the current retirement system, which only benefits those who serve for at least 20 years, to a 401(k)-style plan for troops who serve at least two years.
“We’ve asked the SASC subcommittee to wait and hear from the Pentagon before etching in stone a new retirement system,” Ryan said. “It’s critical to the health of the all-volunteer career force to get this right from the very start.”
The House’s version of the 2016 national defense authorization act (NDAA), which is expected to pass the chamber this week, also includes the revamp.
On Tuesday, the Obama administration issued a veto threat to the House defense bill in part due to the benefit changes. The White House wants more time to study the blue-ribbon panel’s suggestions.