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likelihood that higher fees will deter ben-
efi ciaries from seeking needed care. Reserve Early
Are we saying you shouldn’t be con-
cerned? Defi nitely not. For one thing, the Retirement
director of the Offi ce of Management and
Budget for President Obama previously Update
was the head of the CBO — the congres-
New rules have pros and cons.
sional agency that prepared the budget
options list.
It was unknown as this column was
being written what the new president
might put in his fi rst budget proposal I
n January, the Pentagon issued draft
regulations to implement a new law
that reduced the retirement age for
to Congress — expected sometime this guardmembers and reservists who com-
spring. We’ve not seen a specifi c indica- plete qualifying active duty service — in-
tion at this point that the new administra- cluding most active duty for training in
tion will share the perspective of the last 2008 or subsequent years.
one that more costs ought to be shifted to Under the new rules, each qualifying
DoD and VA benefi ciaries. But there’s cer- cumulative 90 days of active duty or ac-
tainly no guarantee the new budget won’t tive duty for training since Jan. 28, 2008
include any such proposals. (the date of the law change) will gener-
What we are confi dent of — whether ate a three-month reduction in the age
this year’s budget proposes any of these (normally age 60), at which the service-
or other benefi t cutbacks or not — is that member qualifi es for Reserve retired pay.
it’s only a matter of time before the at- Reservists with enough qualifying active
tacks will come again. With the nation in duty time could retire as early as age 50
such a deep economic funk and skyrock- under the law.
eting annual budget defi cits as far as the The bad news is that the law and im-
eye can see, every area of the national plementation guidelines impose various
budget will be coming under scrutiny for restrictions that could keep some active
possible cutbacks. duty service from qualifying.
With the nation at war, there remains One key limitation is that any given
considerable sensitivity in Congress to im- 90 days of cumulative active duty service
posing additional penalties on the military will qualify only if it is completed within a
and veterans community that already has single fi scal year. For example:
borne such a disproportional share of the a73 Captain Ace, USAFR, was activated July
nation’s wartime sacrifi ce. 1, 2008, for 120 days, leaving active service
But once those wartime headlines start Oct. 31, 2008. He’ll get credit for the 90
to fade, watch out. days in FY 2008 but will have to perform
In the meantime, if you didn’t already at least an additional 60 days to get any re-
sign and mail the tear-out letters to con- tirement age credit for FY 2009.
gressional leaders located at pages 32 a73 Sergeant 1st Class Striker, ARNG, was
and 40 in the February issue of Military activated Feb. 1, 2008, on 12-month or-
Offi cer, we strongly recommend you do ders. Upon completion of his active duty
so now. service, he will have served 240 days of
If you don’t have your February maga- qualifying service in FY 2008 and 120
zine handy, you can visit MOAA’s Web site days in FY 2009. For reduced retirement
at www.moaa.org/tearoutletters to print age purposes, he’ll get 180 days’ credit
new copies. for FY 2008 and 90 days’ credit for FY
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