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McCain backs 401(k)-style military retirement

McCain backs 401(k)-style military retirement
© Greg Nash

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family Arizona Dems hope higher Latino turnout will help turn the state blue McConnell: GOP could try to repeal ObamaCare again after midterms MORE (R-Ariz.) said Monday that the 2016 defense policy bill will be "revolutionary" for military retirement. 

McCain did not say what the bill would contain, but endorsed an idea to reform the military retirement system proposed by a compensation reform commission. 

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"The commission recommended that we start giving people after two years a 401(k) thing. That's revolutionary," he said Monday.

That idea — to switch from the current retirement system, which only benefits those who serve for at least 20 years, to a 401(k)-style plan for troops who serve at least two years — was largely adopted by the House Armed Services Committee in its version of the bill last week, with a few changes. 

The Senate panel will begin considering its bill next week. The personnel subcommittee, which would draft any reforms, will mark up their portion in an open session on May 12. 

"Eighty-five percent of the people who join the military never get anything out of it, as far as retirement is concerned. Now 85 percent will," McCain said. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the panel's personnel subcommittee, added retirement reform would be a "good accomplishment." 

"I think it's necessary, and the way we're looking at doing it I think could be a win-win for everybody," he said.