LoBiondo Introduces Legislation To Establish Equal Retirement Benefits For National Guard, Reservists
U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has introduced H.R. 1695, bipartisan legislation that would lower the age at which service members of the National Guard and Reserves can begin receiving their retirement pay, thus bringing the requirement more in line with those for active duty service members. LoBiondo introduced H.R. 1695 with Representative Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-08), a fellow member of the House Armed Services Committee. H.R. 1695 currently has 23 cosponsors, including fellow New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04).
"No one can dispute the men and women of our National Guard and Reserve units haven't risen above and beyond the call of duty in every mission they have been tasked, particularly in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks," said LoBiondo. "Their immeasurable sacrifices and countless contributions should be recognized on a level field to those of active duty military personnel, whom they serve alongside at home and abroad. This bipartisan legislation would ensure uniform requirements across the Services and Reservists for receiving retirement pay they are rightly due."
The current age requirement for members of the National Guard or Reserve Component to begin receiving retirement pay is 60 years old. However, active duty service members may begin receiving retirement pay as soon as they serve their 20 years, which in some cases, may be as early as age 38. The age limitation placed on the Reserve Component was set in 1948, when the Reserve Component was a much different force. Since September 11th, 2001, the National Guard and Reserves have expanded beyond their traditional bounds into a fully functional, combat-ready, and deployable partner to the active duty Armed Forces. This shift in use to a full partner has placed tremendous strains on the men and women of the National Guard and Reserves. This legislation would help close the gap between the active duty and Reserve Component retirement age, which will improve recruitment efforts and be more fair to the men and women serving in the National Guard and Reserves.
H.R. 1695 is endorsed by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), the Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA), the National Association of Uniformed Services (NAUS) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). LoBiondo was recently honored as "Federal Legislator of the Year" by the New Jersey VFW at their state convention in Wildwood.