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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  February 7, 2015 2:58pm-3:16pm EST

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izon where you're encouraging people to reinlest or officers to remain. >> senator, the current program as it is today, the compensation system within we have those bonuses. we have those stepping stones that service members have benefitted. this would be that retention piece that would take the service member now to a point of having 12 years plus a four-year obligation to get him to that 16th year that means they're close enough to retirement that retention will keep them there. >> so the thinking is that not many people leave after 12, and very few leave after 16? >> that is correct. >> under this proposal, the hypothetical e-7 who served
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three tours down range and has had seven or eight years down range, three or four deployments. he would be leaving with his contributions to his defined contribution plans and the government match, is that right? >> if he -- >> if he didn't reenlist at seven or eight years. >> and there is probably data to illustrate this, do we have any problem with this mid career senior nco officer in the six to nine year range? >> it depends on the military
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operation specialty. it is one thing to get a infantry man in for 20 years as opposed to someone who has i.t. stills or is an airplane mechanic. that is why it is essential that they, based on the military occupation specialty, i will tell you, rather than stair step, i believe that our modelling shows this is the critical period. my guys used to tell me the critical period was eight years and 27 days. if i could keep someone in it under a defined contribution past that average mark, i had a better opportunity to maintain them longer. our modelling for this particular plan tells us that that ten to 12 year mark is critical. >> my time is almost expired. my last question will need to wait for another day. >> you want to ask another question? >> sure, i would be happen to.
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>> i have been stationed at bases that had nice commissary and we need them to provide choices that our service members have become accustomed to. was there any planning around bases and forts about weather a commissary is needed? >> we spend time talking to family members and service members and across the country polling told us the same thing.
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we had people that were in different places for how they preserve the value of the commissaries. overwhelming people believed it was very important in retention to have the commissaries there. there are people that would tell us that they have these shops. we talked to some of the big shop warehouses if you will. the stores, the walmarts, and the others, the benefits they would offer if they were to offer a benefit. at the end of the day, no one was willing to stand behind their comments they made or had about providing savings to the service member. our intention here is that we could protect the service members and they believe this is a big savings to them and that they also believe it was a retention tool. that's the way we went about making and moving forward with our recommendation on the commissaries. >> several of the chains talked
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about issues a card to the military, when we ask the representatives point-blank would you do it? never got a straight answer. at the same time we did hear that some people will order their food online, they know that. people want that. they want it because it is convenient for a start, it is near them, it is military, it is responsive to their needs, and we looked at that and made our recommendations on what feed back -- different folks have different requirements. overwhelmingly this is not something they wanted to go away. >> proclivity is based on a whole bunch of things and one of them is the size of family. there is arguments about how much it saves. but if you even cut the high number, the 31% in half, it is still a great savings to that
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e-7 with four kids and a wife who made a decision to stay home and take care of the kids, and to be an at-home mom. it is an unbelievable place for them to save the money they need as part of the benefit we provided them. >> thank you all again for your service and this important report. we look forward to working on it. you know having dealt with enlisted men new to the army and the financial literacy programs are important as well. now i say maybe we should add that to our orientation as well. >> thank you, i would like unanimous consent to provide written comments for up to 30 days from the closing of the hearing. i would like to thank the witnesses for their extraordinary contribution to this critical issue. thank you all very much, the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> from tuesday, a hearing by the senate armed services committee on proposed changes in military retirement pay and other benefits. we are going to open up our phone lines and get your thoughts on what you have been watching today on some of the proposed changes. the numbers on your screen, republicans call us --
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the military compensation and retirement modernization commission has delivered their report on changes to retirement benefits, health care, other benefits to the military. the 15 recommendations in all, but three that seem to be getting the most attention. one would scale back military pensions by about 20%. the other would add a new 401(k) style investment account. also the proposal would include replacement of the military's tricare insurance program instead going to commercial insurers. if i could get your thoughts on that, and anything else you saw today. we will go right to the phones. michael is in washington.
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what are your thoughts? caller: i am retired military disabled, 100 percent disabled from a spinal cord injury. i really appreciate them all coming together for the sake of improvement, but my issue was disabled veterans, our costs keep going up as a transition us into other health care plans but we can't work. a lot of these models are modeled on retired veterans who have secondary careers and workforce, but disabled veterans cannot continue working at 100% disabled, but our costs keep going up. i see nothing mentioned about that. host: we will go to the home of fort bragg. larry is on the phone. go ahead. caller: i have two issues with the commission's findings here. i'm also retired military. the big issue when they did
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their survey is dealing with retirement pay. i find it kind of odd that they surveyed active duty people to find out if they like this new proposal 40%. if you are already grandfathered, who will want to get into something like that to begin with? they are speaking on behalf of the people who might want to come into the military. the other thing is with a tricare. i don't know who they solicited their information from but from my perspective leave it alone. it works for me, and i'm sure it works for many other people. thanks for your time. host: late in that hearing there was discussion about what parts of the plan would be grandfathered in, what parts would take effect immediately. the health care changes would not be grandfathered. retirement changes would. all of the 15 recommendations by the commission would require approval by the congress. jimmy is in winston-salem, north carolina.
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you are on the air jimmy. caller: i will tell you what really galls me about this. these senators and congressmen nobody talks about their retirement. instead of talking about these men who are standing out there and getting shot at and having their arms and legs shot off having brain tumors and different things -- i am 100% disabled from vietnam. i did not retire. the commissaries are not that cheap. what they need to do is cut all the congressmen's pay. the same pay the military is making, cut it to that. let them see how this is working. these people in washington are no better than anybody else. they are making almost $180,000 a year, free vacation. everything else is free to them. why don't we just have a committee that will take survey
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on this and change their pay back to the paid military is getting now, and the current military status -- in the current military status? host: christina writes in "the hill" that senators on the armed services committee are open to the recommendations of the blue-ribbon panel that called for reforming military pay and compensation, suggesting the proposals could be adopted in next year's defense budget. i think they're good, said john mccain of arizona after hearing testimony on the recommendations wednesday. the commission was appointed by congress in 2013 to look at the thorny issue of reforming military pay and benefits. the pentagon recommended cutting compensation, citing growing costs at a time of tricking defense budgets. congress has largely rejected those cuts after military advocacy groups lobbied hard against them. that from "the hill" in a follow-up article to this week's hearing. on the line for independents
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anthony. caller: making something mandatory for their percent of tsp -- what -- why don't they have [indiscernible] i am 100% disabled veteran. they did not mention anything about veterans who have an extremely difficult time making payments to their mortgage there rents, buying food. why can't we collect if we did not serve for 20 years because we got hurt? why can't we collect our full retirement? that is a problem. thank you. host: there are 15 recommendations by the military compensation and retirement modernization commission.
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check them out at their website at "military times" showing in their article about the proposal, showing some comparisons with the current plan versus the proposed blended plan, showing it for the e-7 rank, and the value of the thrift savings plan that would be part of the plan. that from let's go back to the phones now. freddy i believe you are in the military, from new york city. is that right? caller: yes. i am retired air force, 100% disabled through the v.a. also. i have a problem with no one is identifying the veterans' medical health. they are talking about tri-care
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and the changes, but who asked us about the changes? it's already pretty confusing dealing with which tri-care that you once, and now they're giving us something different to look at great we think tri-care should be expanded upon, but it should be explained what we can get from that system instead of giving us something different that will cost us more already. host: freddie referencing the changes proposed in the health care plan, the proposal would move the military from tri-care, which is the current military program, to military benefits provided by commercial insurers. derek in marion, ohio on the line for democrats. caller: my name is derek roberts, retired military, 20 years, vietnam veteran. why don't they leave stuff alone like they promised? they gave us promises, now they're turning around and changing them for their own financial gain.
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we served. we suffered. we deserve. leave it alone. host: charles in st. george utah, republican caller. caller: i'm 20 years military, retired air force combat veteran . 100% disabled. my concern is not only these democrats trying to mess with our tri-care benefits, but the current military go in with a commitment and promise to our country, get our country is backing off of everything. the most decisive thing we have is a leadership in the white house, who is actually dividing our country. it is so sickening. i can't even watch cnn anymore. i wanted to see what the democrats would say. i'm so disappointed that they are not concerned with our military, and they're not concerned about retirees, what
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we have done, what we have sacrificed, the marriages we have had to go through. it is a bad thing all the way around. host: james in kings lynn georgia, military member. go ahead. caller: i would like to say a little bit about what they were talking about today. i think it's a great idea to add benefits for members that are separating in between the time that they start to serve and a time they retire. however, they should be separated from the members that are going to retire, that have done the 20 years, done the time gone through numerous changes of duty, numerous duty stations and everything else. there should be a difference in their. although i'm all about the younger members getting more benefits, there are programs in place already


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