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EANGUS Legislative Call-To-Action – Revised 18 April 2015

A more complete picture of the EANGUS Position on the MCRMC retirement reform recommendations:

Yesterday’s “Call to Action” contained the following sentence:  “EANGUS and its coalition partners would like to see the current system scrapped in favor of a 401k-style retirement system which would vest 100 percent of Servicemembers, after two years of service.”  This understandably led to the impression that the MCRMC’s recommendation (and EANGUS’s position) was to get rid of pensions and go entirely to a 401k program.  This is not the case, and my apologies for how the above sentence was constructed.

The language in the Call to Action was an effort to explain the 401k portion of the contribution program only, which is just a part of the MCRMC retirement recommendation, not the entire recommendation.  There is also a defined benefit (pension) recommendation for the National Guard that provides a retirement check for Traditional National Guard members immediately upon retiring after 20 years, something that we do not have now, but have been fighting for over many decades.

Read this for yourself by looking at the bottom of page 38 of the report, downloadable using the button below, where it recommends that:

  • The Uniformed Services should provide RC Service members the choice to receive their retirement annuity in various forms:
    • a lump sum amount at retirement, combined with a reduced monthly payment until eligibility for full social security payments, at which point the full monthly annuity would begin; or
    • a (larger) lump sum payment with no monthly payment until eligibility for full social security payments, at which point the full monthly annuity would begin.
    • RC members should receive lump-sum payments upon their retirement from the RC, which will generally be before their retirement annuity begins at age 60.  

OR,

  • The Uniformed Services should allow any AC, RC, or retired member of the Uniformed Services who is grandfathered in the current retirement system the opportunity to opt in to the new retirement system.

MCRMC’s recommendation would allow retiring members of the National Guard, for the first time in nearly 70 years, the option to receive a portion of their retirement pay after 20 years of service in a variety of ways depending on individual needs and requirements.  Lowering the 60 year age restriction to collect retirement has historically been a priority for EANGUS.

By combining elements of both a defined benefit (pension) and a defined contribution plan (401k), we can provide both short and long serving members in the National Guard a form of retirement.  Currently, Traditional National Guard members receive nothing upon retirement until they reach age 60 (unless they deployed and that potentially allows them to receive their pension some years prior to age 60).  This provides them an immediately defined pension annuity and the ability to participate in the 401k contribution program throughout their career.

If you have concerns with EANGUS fighting to provide Guard members a retirement check immediately upon retirement instead of age 60, or our support for adding a 401k program as an option to those who don’t make it to 20 years so that they receive something instead of nothing, then let me hear from you by replying to this message.

Our apologies if the initial effort led you to believe that EANGUS is in favor of getting rid of a defined benefit pension system entirely, because that is not the case.  We are in favor of allowing Traditional Guard members to receive a retirement annuity immediately upon receiving a Guard retirement.

Please click here to see letter that EANGUS, Air Force Association, NGAUS, Reserve Officers Association, and VFW penned to the Senate and House Armed Service Committees on April 16, 2015.
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