Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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National and World

December 23, 2013

Vets groups vow to fight cuts to pension increases

WASHINGTON — Veterans groups are promising to fight against a provision of the new budget deal that holds back annual pension increases for military retirees younger than 62.

Congress passed the deal last week, and it awaits the president’s signature.

After strong protests from the military community, lawmakers said they’ll take another look at the issue next year and possibly reverse it. But even if they do, defense officials and analysts say change is almost certainly coming to the military benefits and compensation systems.

A nine-member commission set up last year is scheduled to make recommendations in May. It’s looking at everything — including pay, pensions, health care and programs for military families. Its challenge is to reform and modernize costly programs while ensuring the military will still attract good people.

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