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Panetta Promises No Retirement Changes for Current Soldiers

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

Any changes to the current military retirement system will not affect current service members, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday.

Robert Gates, Panetta’s predecessor, asked the Defense Business Board to make recommendations on modifying the current 20-year retirement system. The final report is due this month.

AFPS reports Panetta made the remarks during a roundtable meeting with reporters in the Pentagon.

“People who have come into the service, who have put their lives on the line, who have been deployed to the war zones, who fought for this country, who have been promised certain benefits for that — I’m not going to break faith with what’s been promised to them,” Panetta said.

The current retirement system gives retirees 50 percent of their base pay after 20 years of service, but most service members do not serve for 20 years and do not get any benefits.

Panetta said current service members could be grandfathered into the 20-year system and then changes can be implemented for future service members.

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