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The authors summarize the principal features of a model of military compensation developed by the authors earlier and use it to analyze the effects of converting the current military retirement system to an alternative system patterned after the Federal Employees Retirement System. The three parts of the alternative system are a retirement plan similar to that for civil service employees, a 7 percent across-the-board pay increase to counteract mandatory contributions under the new plan, and a set of retention bonuses targeted to address any retention problems. Because the alternative system may not create the services' desired seniority profiles, a larger set of pay raises, retention bonuses, and/or separation payments would be added. In addition, the authors recommend that pay raises be skewed — be higher in the higher ranks. The authors consider the implications of this proposal in terms of the effects on cost, force size and structure, productivity, and force management flexibility.

Table of Contents

  • Preface PDF

  • Figures PDF

  • Tables PDF

  • Summary PDF

  • Acknowledgements

    Acknowledgments PDF

  • Chapter One

    Introduction PDF

  • Chapter Two

    Overview of MFERS PDF

  • Chapter Three

    Overview of the Theoretical and Empirical Models PDF

  • Chapter Four

    Steady-State Results PDF

  • Chapter Five

    Results for the Transition to the Steady State PDF

  • Chapter Six

    Other Considerations PDF

  • Chapter Seven

    Conclusions and Policy Options PDF

  • References PDF

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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