How the U.S. Military Retirement System Compares With Other Systems

Gao ID: 122026 July 29, 1983

GAO discussed the U.S. military retirement system by comparing the U.S. system with: (1) the military retirement systems of seven other countries; (2) four other federally sponsored retirement plans; and (3) eight State and local retirement systems. GAO stated that, when compared to other countries' systems, the U.S. military retirement system contains many provisions of distinct advantage to the military retiree. Further, in terms of lifetime earnings, the total received by U.S. military retirees is considerably above what they would receive under a foreign retirement system. Regarding federally sponsored programs, GAO concluded that, although many similarities exist among all programs, the military system offers more distinct advantages: (1) military members can retire at an earlier age; (2) pension calculations have a more favorable basis; and (3) members are not required to make contributions to their retirement funds. GAO concluded that the military system is more advantageous for retirees than any other Federal plan.

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