U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today announced her support for a bill, the Reserve Retirement Deployment Credit Correction Act, aimed at ensuring that National Guard and Reserve members get the retirement benefits that they have earned through active service.
"Our troops are entitled to all the benefits they earned while on active duty, and it's our responsibility as lawmakers to make sure loopholes aren't used to side-step those obligations," said McCaskill, the daughter of a World War II veteran. "If promises were made to our troops, then those promises need to be honored."
Current law allows the minimum retirement age for reservists to be moved up by three months for every 90 days of deployment they serve for war or national emergency. However, under current law those 90 days must occur within one fiscal year in order to be applied toward retirement-meaning that some soldiers could serve nearly twice that long without accruing any benefit at all if their service overlaps two fiscal years. This bill would correct that technicality, authorizing early retirement credit for every 90 days of active duty service, even if that service overlapped two fiscal years.
This McCaskill-backed bill is supported by the Military Coalition, an organization of nationally prominent and uniformed service and veterans associations representing more than 5.5 million members.
Recently, McCaskill told a Senate panel that legislation is needed to address the practice in which financial institutions use loopholes to abuse pension programs that provide benefits to military veterans.