Expectations are now high among mid-grade officers and career enlisted service members that the Clinton administration and the 106th Congress will join hands this year to increase future military pay raises and improve Redux retirement for persons who entered service after 31 July 1986.
But there are worrisome aspects to the proposed pay package unveiled at the Pentagon just days before Christmas. For one thing, it is less than the rhetoric suggests. The package largely ignores a large pay gap the Joint Chiefs of Staff complained about to Congress only last September.
Second, much of what is there—real reform of Redux retirement—will not be paid for by adding real money to the topline of future defense budgets. Instead, the administration hopes to rely on some acrobatic accounting that Congress may or may not accept. If it does, however, two thirds of the current force would see the value of 20year retirement jump by 25%.