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      Cuts may come to military retirement system

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Changes may be coming to the military retirement system which would affect tens of thousands of people in South Carolina.

      Sergeant first class Craig Ivery retired from the army about a year ago.

      He TMs one of the many soldiers benefiting from the military's guaranteed lifetime payouts, for retirees with 20 years of service.

      So talks about changing the retirement program not sitting well with him.

      "I think it's happening really because of fiscal irresponsibility," says Sgt. Ivery.

      According to the Department of Defense a small group of defense business board officials recently discussed cost cutting measures.

      According to a published report the group outlining a plan to get rid of the 20-year service incentive in favor of a 401(k) style system... which would not include a lifetime payout. Ivery says that won't cut it.

      I don't think it TMs fair to compare the war fighter TMs retirement plan to a civilian retirement plan which is what in essence they are doing," says Sgt. Ivery.

      Department of Defense officials say there's no immediate plan to change the retirement plan in place and that this issue needs further research because they don TMt want to lose the faith of those in the service.

      Ivery says if the retirement plan is cut it may be more difficult to recruit especially when soldiers know they will be risking their lives.

      "Then there would need to be increase in base pay or more attractive bonuses, enlistment bonuses or reenlistment bonuses," says Sgt. Ivery.

      The defense board expected to issue final recommendations later this month.