Supreme Court sends suit against city of Portales to trial

By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico The New Mexico Supreme Court has sent a breach of contract lawsuit against the city of Portales back to District Court for a jury trial. The lawsuit alleges that without approval, Portales City Manager Debi Lee canceled retiree health benefits stipulated by a personnel ordinance. City representatives said the […]

Retiree mortality rate needs study

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Department of Defense actuaries have discovered significantly higher mortality rates among active duty retirees compared to reserve retirees, and the disparity stretches back decades. In any given year, looking at populations of non-disabled military retirees age 60 and older, the death rate for active duty enlisted retirees is 20 to […]

TRICARE cost increases proposed

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist A new report from the Congressional Budget Office shows why some military retirees and veterans could face higher out-of-pocket costs if the Obama administration and Congress take bold moves to reform the U.S. health system and to make federal health programs more efficient. Among 115 “options” presented, though not endorsed, […]

Improved health benefits on way

By Tom Philpott: CNJ Columnist Active duty and reserve component members can bank on a 3.9 percent pay raise next January as Congress continues to close a perceived military “pay gap” that a Pentagon pay study says no longer exists. The House Armed Services Committee on May 14 joined Senate colleagues in approving, for a […]

Retirees also deserve pay changes

By Tom Philpott Older military retirees like Marine Corps Master Sgt. Lanny Bauer, 68, of Stockton, Calif., do not begrudge current service members for a string of annual pay raises that have exceeded wage growth in the private sector. Every dollar they get is deserved and likely is needed to keep quality volunteers in wartime, […]

Military update: Panel OKs multiple military measures

By Tom Philpott: Syndicated columnist Military people next January would get a 3.5 percent pay raise, under a compensation package voted Wednesday by the House Armed Services’ subcommittee on military personnel. In shaping the personnel section of the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill, the subcommittee approved other initiatives to please health-care beneficiaries, surviving spouses and […]

Retro pay reaches 31,000, averages $1,500

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Two months into a year-long review of pay records and disability compensation histories for 140,000 military retirees have produced a total of $45 million in back pay to 31,000 disabled retirees, say officials in charge. The lump-sum payments average about $1,500. Ten retirees have received more than $25,000 each, a […]

Back payments doled out to retirees

By Tom Philpott: Military Update A small group of disabled military retirees this month will be the first of 133,000 to receive lump-sum back payments, which are tied to start-up challenges for two “concurrent receipt” programs enacted since 2003. That’s according to officials with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). The trickle of back […]

Military back pay cost will be shared

By Tom Philpott: Military update The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have worked out a plan for sharing the cost and the task of delivering about $500 million in back pay to more than 100,000 military retirees with VA rated disabilities. The retroactive payments are owed to nearly half of all recipients of Combat-Related […]

Retirees hoping for back pay

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Retired Army Staff Sgt. Daniel F. Purinton, 71, has argued for almost two years that the Department of Veterans Affairs owes him an additional $8,044. Purinton said the underpayment occurred as Department of Defense and VA officials implemented a complex series of laws, starting in 2003, to end for many […]