The Nation: The Pension Parade

Curiously, at a time of high unemployment, the top brass of the armed forces are retiring in droves. By the end of September, 215 generals and admirals — 17% of the Pentagon's total — will have retired this year, along with 2,300 colonels and Navy captains. The vast majority of those stepping down do so voluntarily. Reason: at those ranks an officer may have a larger U.S. income in mufti than in uniform.

Since October 1972, military active-duty pay increases have totaled 12%, while monthly retirement benefits have swelled 33% — thanks to a regulation that ties pensions but not regular pay...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!