Legislation would be first increase since 1967

LANSING, Mich., April 11, 2018 — Sen. Steve Bieda (D–Warren) today introduced legislation to increase the pension of the Michigan National Guard retirees to $1,200 per year.

“The men and women who serve in the Michigan National Guard have been called time and time again to serve on the front lines overseas,” Sen. Bieda said. “They faced the same risk as their colleagues on traditional enlistment, and should be compensated as such.”

Currently, a retired Guard member age 62 or older, with 20 years of service, receives $600 per year, while a surviving spouse is reduced to $500 per year. This increase is long overdue, as retired National Guards have not had a retirement pay increase in 51 years.

In 1967, $600 had the same buying power as $4,495.88 in 2018.

“Historically, the Michigan National Guard was a domestic enlistment to serve our country during crises at home,” Sen. Bieda said. “But in the world of terrorism and overseas threats, they’ve answered the call to duty, and this piece of legislation is our ‘Thank You’ to them.”

The Michigan National Guard provides trained, combat-capable response forces in support of the U.S. National Security Strategy. The country’s oldest military branch, its members are also trained to respond to federal and state emergencies. To date, nearly 65 percent of the state’s National Guard soldiers have seen active duty and most of that action has been in Iraq.