Looking for the official MCRMC Report? We’ve got it here as well as the Legislative Recommendations from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.
Don’t forget to contact Congress today with our quick email system and let them know to protect military pay and benefits and remind them that we’re watching the HASC and SASC hearings. Read the Op-Ed to learn more why it’s so important.
Some of the initial findings from our friends at NFMA:
Of the Commission’s 15 recommendations, several focus on issues raised by NMFA and the families we serve:
- Make quality child care more available. The Commission recommends building more child development centers.
Improve access to quality health care while keeping costs low for troops and their families. The Commission recommends significant changes to the military health system, including a new health care allowance to cover some health care costs and allowing military families to use the same types of insurance plans offered to federal civilians.
- Maintain grocery savings provided by the military commissaries. Commissioners support continuing the sale of groceries at cost plus 5 percent, but recommend the consolidation of the commissary system with the separate military Service exchange systems to gain efficiencies.
- Uphold a pay system competitive with the private sector that recognizes the extraordinary demands of military service. The basic pay structure still works, so there are no proposed changes.
- Empower military families to make educated financial choices. Increase the financial literacy of service members and families by providing more education and resources for managing their money.
Increase support for family members with special needs. Make health care benefits for special needs families comparable to those offered by state programs.
- Keep track of military kids as they progress through public schools. Collect data on graduation rates, academic achievements and attendance to show how military life impacts kids’ success in school.
Ensure that struggling families receive financial assistance to meet nutritional needs. Make it easier for young military families to put healthy food on the table.
Commissioners also weighed in on a new type of retirement system more in line with the 401(k)-style plans. Proposals to change retirement would affect only new service members. NMFA encouraged military families to contact the Commission, participate in installation town halls, and to share their thoughts on what was needed to ensure the military compensation and benefit package acknowledges their service and sacrifice and helps keep them strong. NMFA also shared families’ ideas and concerns through its testimony to the Commission and frequent meetings with staff.
“We gave them specific recommendations to improve the lives of military families. Our families need predictability and sustained support,” said Gail McGinn, NMFA’s Chairman of the Board of Governors. “It may be difficult to put a dollar value on appropriate compensation for the work performed, the sacrifices made, the skills gained, and the lives disrupted, but families want to know that leaders weighed both the tangibles and intangibles about military pay, benefits, and quality of life programs in their communities.”
If approved by Congress, these new recommendations would have a far-reaching impact on both current and future military families. It’s time for military and civilian leaders to engage in a thoughtful discussion on these recommendations and what is needed to recruit and retain the best people to protect our Nation. While budget pressures certainly motivated the creation of the Commission, we hope that cutting costs will not be the primary motivator in discussions about its recommendations. The focus must always be on what is needed to strengthen our military and their families.