Navy Times: Navy rejects request for more early retirements
Jul 10, 2012 -
By Mark D. Faram - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Jul 10, 2012 15:46:45 EDT
The chief of naval personnel had rejected a request from a key lawmaker to allow 15-year retirements for 172 sailors cut by last year’s enlisted retention boards. Under the Navy’s current plan, those sailors will be forced to leave the Navy without retirement benefits by Sept. 1.
Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., asked Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk in a June 11 letter to extend temporary early retirement authority to sailors selected for separation who hit the 15-year mark by Sept. 30, 2013.
“The congressman isn’t giving up and will continue to fight for ERB sailors,” said Kim Moser-Knapp, spokeswoman for Rigell, who represents the Navy-heavy Hampton Roads area and serves on the House Armed Services Committee.
In a June 27 reply to Rigell, Van Buskirk declined Rigell’s proposal, saying the service had done enough. He also reiterated the Navy’s stance that regardless of where they set the cutoff, someone would be disadvantaged.
“We evaluated whether individual exceptions should be granted, but determined that permitting sailors to remain beyond the cutoff date would adversely impact ongoing efforts to properly balance the Navy’s force profile, stabilize enlisted advancement opportunity, and improve overall fleet readiness,” Van Buskirk wrote in his reply.
“Additionally, granting exception for those who have not yet separated would create an inequity for those who have already separated.”
The Navy already has offered 15-year retirements to ERB-selected sailors who hit that service milestone by Sept. 1 — 303 of the 2,946 cut by the boards qualify for that offer.
The rest would be forced to accept an average of $55,000 in separation pay, versus a retirement worth an estimated $900,000 over the rest of their lives.
Sources in Rigell’s office told Navy Times the congressman doesn’t consider the issue settled and that the next step would be to bring the issue to the personnel readiness subcommittee.
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