United States' Military's Top Brass Grab Golden Parachute
Today, Usa, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A change in federal law to keep experienced officers in uniform allows top generals and admirals to make more in retirement than they did on active duty, Pentagon and congressional records show.
The new pension rules were part of the 2007 Defense Authorization Act to address concerns that the military would lose too many experienced generals and admirals during wartime.
Previously, the maximum annual pension was based on an officer's pay at 26 years of service. Now, a four-star officer retiring in 2011 with 38 years' experience would get a yearly pension of about $219,600, a jump of $84,000, or 63 percent above what was once allowed. A three-star officer with 35 years' experience would get about $169,200 a year, up about $39,000, or 30 percent.
The highest pension, $272,892, is paid to a retired four-star officer with 43 years of service, according to the Pentagon. Before the law was changed, the typical pension for a retired four-star officer was $134,400. The top pay for an active-duty officer is capped at $179,900; housing and other allowances boost their compensation by another third.
"These changes cumulatively provide consistent recognition across an individual's entire career, not just the first 26 years of service," Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said. …