Military lobbying groups are urging a “dislocation allowance” for retiring service members as well as a larger weight limit for active duty members as part of their goal for this year.
The Fleet Reserve Association conducted an “unscientific survey” that identified the desire for an allowance to assist with the relocation cost at retirement. At retirement, some enlisted personnel see their pay drop by as much as two thirds. While on active duty, dislocation allowances range from $692 to $3,470.
About 88% of those planning to retire will be going more than 50 miles from their last duty station and they expect the associated expenses to be greater than $3,000. This is critically important since about 50% of those surveyed believed (in error) that their retirement pay would be about 50% of the gross pay they received while on active duty. The actual figure is closer to 33%.
Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina has sponsored a bill HR 995 to address the needs of retirees to receive a dislocation allowance for final moves.
Military associations are also hoping to reduce the amount of cost that are out of pocket for PCS moves. The groups also want to add to the weight limits for E-5 and above to more realistically reflect the good normally acquired during a career.
The groups want a modest additional 200-250 pounds of professional good for the spouses to be added to the allowed shipping limit. Service members may ship professional items not counted against the limit, but spouses, many who have careers do not receive that accommodation.
Additionally the groups are advocating for two cars instead of one to be shipped at government expense to overseas locations. Currently house hunting trips at new duty locations are not funded by the government. The groups want this benefit extended to military because it exists currently for civilian workers.
In conjunction with those reimbursements, additions funds for relocation assistance are deemed necessary as well as increased cooperation between states unemployment offices for benefits and job placement for spouses who must give up their jobs when members relocate.