Changes Considered For Military Pensions

August 16, 2011 Updated Aug 16, 2011 at 6:53 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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August 16, 2011 Updated Aug 16, 2011 at 6:53 PM EDT

(Washington, DC) National media reports out of Washington, DC, say the Pentagon is engaged in "high-level" talks concerning the future of the military pension system.

Under the current pension plan, people who serve 20 years with the US military are eligible for a pension at one-half pay.

Qualifying participants can begin collecting the pension as early as age 37.

Now, a military advisory panel is proposing that the pension plan be converted to a 401(k) style retirement program.

All military personnel, regardless of time served, would be eligible for payments from the 401(k) retirement plan, but withdrawals could not start until retirement age.

The US Government would make payments to the plan and soldiers who serve in combat, or in high-risk situations, would be eligible for higher payments.

It is estimated the changing the pension plan could save an estimated $250-billion dollars over a twenty year period.

All changes to the military pension plan have to be approved by Congress.