Stephen S. Jenks: Pension plans

January 6, 2014 

Regarding the proposal from a number of lawmakers to overturn changes to the existing pensions of military retirees (Dec. 30 news article): I agree that it is unfair to change the rules for the cost of living adjustment after the fact. However, I have two more basic questions about military pensions.

First, isn’t a pension after 20 years of service very generous? Can we really afford this over the long term? And if we want to compensate members of the military for serving in a war zone, I would rather double their pay during that period than provide a pension.

Second, let’s assume that American citizens and taxpayers believe that a pension after 20 years of service is justified. An example: A person joins the military at age 22 and stays until 42. Why should he start receiving the pension at 42? Wouldn’t it make more sense that he would receive the pension starting at 62, which is true for the rest of us who are in the Social Security system?

Most everyone who is able does work from age 42 through to age 62 or older.

Stephen S. Jenks

Carrboro

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