Tags: Ashton Carter | Pentagon | military | recruitment | pension

Pentagon Eyes Pension Plans to Recruit, Retain More Troops

Monday, 30 March 2015 12:54 PM

The Pentagon has sets its sights on hiring and keeping more recruits, especially cyber warriors, with a series of attractive new measures, USA Today reported.

The proposals, which are expected to be touted this week by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, include new retirement procedures, including a 401(k)-style pension plan, and allowing a mid-career break for education or family reasons.

Carter, who took office last month, plans to make the changes before President Barack Obama leaves the White House, according to the newspaper, citing a senior aide.

The secretary wants to build a whole new force capable of handling new threats and hang on to top troops, according to the newspaper.

During a two-day trip starting Monday, Carter is scheduled to address his old high school in Philadelphia as well as soldiers and students in New York, and a source says that he will use the opportunity to put forward his plans to attract and retain military personnel.

According to USA Today, the Pentagon is creating a force of 6,200 personnel, military and civilian, for cyberwarfare, double the number of current staff members.

The military plans to have 133 cyber teams across all the services by 2018, with another 2,000 reservists and National Guardsmen available for crises and to defend critical infrastructure, the senior official said.

Under Carter's proposal, most soldiers would receive a 401(k)-style retirement account, and they would qualify for a pension if they serve 20 years in uniform. Currently, most sign up for shorter periods and receive no retirement benefits.

"About 83 percent leave with absolutely nothing," said Todd Harrison, a military budget expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. "That's especially true when you think about the people who have actually been fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."

The proposals also include allowing troops to have mid-career breaks for school or family, such as sabbaticals for soldiers to return to college, the senior official said.

They could take a break from service to earn degrees and then return to the military, possibly with a better job. A break would also let troops take time off to start raising a family, the official said.

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The Pentagon has sets its sights or hiring and keeping more recruits, especially cyber warriors, with a series of attractive new measures, USA Today reported.
Ashton Carter, Pentagon, military, recruitment, pension
Monday, 30 March 2015 12:54 PM
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