Top generals, admirals can make more in retirement than on active duty, report shows

Sang Tan/AP

This story has been updated with comment.

The military’s top generals and admirals can now make more in retirement than they did on active duty, thanks to pension rules that were changed as part of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, USA Today reports.

According to the paper’s examination of congressional and federal records, a four-star officer retired in 2011 with 38 years in the military can receive a pension of about $219,600, or 63 percent beyond what was previously allowed. Three-star officers with 35 years’ experience can receive about $169,000, or 30 percent higher than they would before the 2007 law was enacted.

Before the change, the maximum pension was based on an officer’s pay at 26 years’ of service, USA Today reports.

“Pentagon officials sought to change top officers’ pensions in 2003, records show, over concerns that the military would lose too many experienced generals and admirals during wartime,” USA Today’s Tom Vanden Brook wrote.

“At the time of this legislation, with the exception of cost-of-living increases, most [of the admirals and generals] were serving for over a decade without increases in salary or retired pay,” Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said.

“The legislative changes provided greater incentive and more appropriate compensation of service for individuals who the department retains beyond 30 years of service, increasing readiness through increased retention,” Lainez added.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal released in January calls on lawmakers to establish a panel to review military retirement “in the context of total military compensation,” but does not make specific recommendations that target military retirements as a source of savings.

The department could not speculate on whether or not this panel might examine or impact the pension increases, Lainez said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.