Tester, Murkowski Call for End to Offset of Military Retiree Benefits
Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Allow Retirees to Receive Full Pension and Disability Benefits
(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today introduced bipartisan legislation to end the unfair offset of retirement pay and disability benefits for more than 450,000 military retirees.
Their Retired Pay Restoration Act would end the unfair dollar-for-dollar offset of military retirement pay based on the amount of VA disability compensation a military retiree receives. Current law only allows for a retiree to receive both, called concurrent receipt, if the retiree has a VA service-connected disability rating of more than 50 percent.
"It's unacceptable that any veteran with disabilities is denied full pension and benefits," said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. "Our bipartisan bill changes an outdated law that largely hurts older veterans who sacrificed for our country, and honors the service of all military retirees by righting this wrong."
"I have long believed that disabled veterans deserve full concurrent receipt of disability compensation in recognition of their injuries and pension following their military service," said Murkowski. "If they have earned both, it is only fair that our nation pays both. Veteran dissatisfaction with the unfairness of this offset has lingered for decades. Restoring full concurrent receipt demonstrates our respect for those who continue to suffer from their service related injuries."
The Retired Pay Restoration Act is endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
"On behalf of the men and women of the VFW and its Auxiliary, we are proud to offer our support for the Retired Pay Restoration Act," said Carlos Fuentes, Director of the VFW National Legislative Service. "Your legislation would provide an equitable fix by providing concurrent receipt to all those affected by the offset. We appreciate your leadership on this issue and thank you for introducing this legislation."
Tester and Murkowski's Retired Pay Restoration Act is cosponsored by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
Text of the Retired Pay Restoration Act can be found online HERE. VFW's letter of support can be found online HERE.