Local News

Military May Pay Members More

Posted December 21, 1998

— Service men and women may have more money and a better pension plan in their futures, if Congress grants the Pentagon's request.

The Pentagon will ask Congress to increase military salaries by 4.4 percent for fiscal year 2000. President Clinton says the plan is designed to enhance the quality of life for those in uniform.

This coming year, soldiers will receive a 3.6 pay increase. Even with the raise, many soldiers will still make less than their counterparts in the civilian workforce.

The Pentagon will ask Congress to increase military salaries by 4.4 percent for fiscal year 2000.

"I think it's a good idea. It's going to help us, a lot of people, and soldiers in the future," Spc. Gary Leal says. "It's going to be good for us."

Also in the proposal is a plan to increase military retirement to 50 percent of basic pay. Under the current system, service members who entered after Aug. 1986 get 40 percent when they retire after 20 years.

Retiree Bill Lewis thinks restoring those benefits to 50 percent will encourage more soldiers to make a career of the military.

"I think that was one of the major incentives that lead me to make a career of the military," the retired Master Sgt. says.

The proposal will be sent to Congress with the Pentagon's 2000 budget proposal. While everyone seems excited about the proposal, many soldiers say they'll believe it when they see it.

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