What to Watch in 2016 Budget

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments analysis Todd Harrison told reporters Jan. 30 there are many issues the White House and Congress will likely remain at odds over, but some may still see some movement in the Fiscal 2016 budget, including the newly released report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. All indications are that the Defense Department will again seek to retire legacy systems like the A-10 in order to find savings and seek another round of base closures, neither of which will likely see much success, he noted. But on compensation, there may be room to deal. The just-issued MCRMC report comes too late for the President’s 2016 budget proposal, but just in time for Congress to debate it. The MCRMC proposal offers more flexibility in retirement and health care, and allows DOD to be more creative and “incentivize” key careers, Harrison notes. New incentives could be introduced, such as retaining remotely piloted aircraft pilots by offering to match 401K contributions up to 10 or even 20 percent, he noted. There’s a chance for DOD to “flatten the growth curve” of personnel costs if some of the reforms are adopted, Harrison said. (Watch the event video and slides).