Download the AMN app for your mobile device today - FREE!

Top Brass Immune To Pension Rate Cuts Inflicted On Military

January 08, 2014

Last month the budget deal reduced the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for military retirees by 1% per year until the age of 62. The Pentagon announced Tuesday that top military brass will be immune from COLA changes in budget deal that the rest of military retirees have to endure.

In 2007, Congress passed a proposal that permitted three and four star generals to received increased pensions, allowing them to make more from their pensions than they did while serving on active duty.  For example, a four star general retiring at 40 years would make $237,144, but the top base pay for active duty is $181,501.

Most military retirees with 20 years of active duty service receive a pension equal to 50% of their final pay (last three years of rank). They would receive a 2.5% increase for each year of service over the 20-year mark.

The military constantly preaches leading by example and taking care of subordinates. Is it fair that top military brass are immune from the COLA cuts inflicted upon all other military retirees? Let us know what you think!


WASHINGTON (Army Times) — Top military brass will keep their specially boosted pensions despite the December budget deal that trimmed pension rates for other military retirees, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

In 2007, Congress passed a Pentagon-sponsored proposal that boosted retirement benefits for three- and four-star admirals and generals, allowing them to make more in retirement than they did on active duty. The Pentagon had requested the change in 2003 to help retain senior officers as the military was fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and wanted to entice officers to remain on active duty.

That means a four-star officer retiring with 40 years of experience would receive a pension of $237,144, according to the Pentagon. Base pay for active-duty top officers is $181,501, according to Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman. Housing and other allowances can boost their compensation an additional third.

Last month’s budget deal reduces cost-of-living adjustments, COLAs, by 1 percentage point a year until retirees reach age 62. At 62, the full COLA will return and pensions will bounce back to their full value. The plan is estimated to save $6 billion.

Currently, after 20 years of service, regardless of age, a military retiree qualifies for a pension amounting to 50 percent of final pay with an additional 2.5 percentage points for each year of service beyond 20.

Read more