Altering the DOD retirement system along the path of least resistance lacks focus and direction. We need a new design.
With the 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation under way, this is a useful time to discuss the Department of Defense’s retirement system and possible changes to it. During the past year, members of the military community have expressed varied opinions concerning the nature and utility of this system, while retirement plans and government employees have made headlines across the country. Mark Gebicke, director of Military Operations and Capabilities Issues in the then–General Accounting Office, noted during 1999 congressional testimony: “Understanding the nature of the retention problem is critical in choosing solutions—pockets of problems are best treated with targeted rather than across-the-board solutions.” 1 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates echoed this useful observation on 24 May 2011 at the American Enterprise Institute.