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Thread: Independent Survey... Military Benefits

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    Independent Survey... Military Benefits

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    Independent survey seeks your input on benefits - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times


    A Washington, D.C., think tank has launched a survey to find out which military benefits are most important to service members.

    Amid declining defense budgets, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment survey aims to show which benefits should be protected and which could be reduced, said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow for defense budget studies at the nonpartisan independent think tank.

    “This … .is a way for service members to have their voice heard and tell us what is most important to them,” Harrison said.

    The survey is available online. Anyone can take it; all responses are anonymous.

    “The question we are trying to answer is where are the red lines you do not want to cross?” Harrison said.

    Similar to questionnaires used by private-sector businesses, the survey asks participants to consider potential tradeoffs. For example, it asks whether current service members would be willing to pay an annual fee for retiree health care benefits if they could receive more pay now. One question asks service members which they would prefer: $3,000 in additional annual pay now, or Tricare for Life health benefits — which cost the Defense Department an average $5,500 a year — when they turn 65.

    Little work has been done to rank benefits by priority, which means little is known about how benefits changes would affect recruiting and retention. “There has been a lot of talk about cutting retirement pay, closing commissaries, raising health care fees, etcetera. The assumption is that these things aren’t important to the troops and can be cut without much impact on the force,” Harrison said. “The truth is, we don’t know what the impact of these things would be on the force.”

    The survey comes as the Defense Department is pushing for reductions in military pay and benefits. Pentagon officials are working on a pay reform plan, which could take effect as early as 2015 and reduce the size of annual pay raises.

    The Pentagon also wants an independent commission, similar to base closing commissions used from 1998 to 2005, to study military retired pay and possibly other benefits and make recommendations for changes that would be set on a legislative fast track, with Congress able to vote on the proposals only as a package, without the opportunity for amendments.

    “If the proposed BRAC-like commission for military retirement reform gets off the ground, this [CSBA] study could help guide what changes they consider."
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    One question asks service members which they would prefer: $3,000 in additional annual pay now, or Tricare for Life health benefits — which cost the Defense Department an average $5,500 a year — when they turn 65.
    Geesh...seriously?
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    #3
    more pay now thanks....
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    Tricare for life for us, please.
    I'm not Lynn, but we ARE MSOS Best Friends and MSOS Twins.
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    Tricare for life, without question.

    I couldn't get the survey to open.
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    #6
    DH had the same problem. He kept refreshing and it finally let him in.
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    #7
    Tricare for life.

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