Recent benefits update was needed

by Tom Philpott Military survivor benefits for 270,000 elderly recipients, and the future value of the Survivor Benefit Plan for all beneficiaries, will begin to rise next October when the first of four special pay hikes takes effect. When the last one occurs, in April 2008, SBP annuities for older beneficiaries will have returned to […]

Lower reserve retirement age not likely

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Advocates for lowering the age-60 threshold for when reserve retirement benefits begin will find little to cheer in a new report from the Government Accountability Office. With numerous bills before Congress to drop the reserve retirement age to 55 or younger, lawmakers in 2002 directed GAO to review reserve retirement, […]

Pay problems are prevalent for troops

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Systemic pay problems that added to the hassle of mobilization for tens of thousand of Army Reserve and National Guard members since 9/11 have largely been corrected and should not hit the next rotation of reserve forces into Iraq and Afghanistan, says a senior defense pay official. Patrick T. Shine, […]

House votes to protect military income

Tom Philpott: Military update A House panel shaping its version of the 2005 defense authorization bill approved new income protection for mobilized Reserve and National Guard members, and a provision to phase out, starting in 2009, the sharp drop in military survivor benefits that occurs at age 62. The bill also would support a 3.5 […]

Military Digest 4/26

City awarded reserve, guard support award Clovis City Manager Ray Mondragon accepted the “Above and Beyond” award on behalf of the City of Clovis from the Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve at a recent state meeting of the organization. ESGR is a committee of the Department of Defense that works to […]

Pay period at hand in committee meeting

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Uniformed leaders of America’s Reserve and Guard components have urged Congress to eliminate a host of “inequities” that mobilized troops face while serving alongside active-duty forces in the war on terror. Compared to active duty brethren, deployed Reserve and Guard members see smaller and fewer re-enlistment bonuses, are ineligible for […]

Take advantage of new health benefits

By Tom Phillpott: Military Update activated reservists, have left thousands of reserve families unable to take full advantage yet of some new pre- and post-mobilization healthcare benefits. The unusual circumstances have TRICARE officials advising reservists to save medical receipts, explanations of benefits and other documents that could be useful weeks or months from now in […]

Congress making extra effort

Tom Philpott The more difficult U.S. operations become in Iraq, the more conscientious Congress becomes in addressing weaknesses and inequities in military pay and benefits programs — or so it seems. Three days after insurgents downed an Army helicopter, killing 15 U.S. soldiers and injuring 21, Congress passed tax relief legislation for military families. Two […]

Future reserves among county budget concerns

By Jack King Curry County commissoners will meet at 9 a.m. this morning in commissioners’ chambers in the Curry County Courthouse to consider a draft budget for fiscal year 2003-2004. Commissioners are dealing with an estimated shortfall of $318,745. County Manager Geneva Cooper said, under the proposed budget, the county will end next year with […]

County proposes raising gross receipts tax

By Jack King Curry County commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to ask voters to approve an increase in gross receipts taxes to cover a county budget shortfall estimated at between $200,000 and $400,000. A majority of the commissioners approved creating an ordinance authorizing a one-eighth percent increase in county gross receipts taxes that would be placed […]