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  #1  
Old 09-23-2011, 10:56 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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Will the US pay a military retirement to a non-US citizen?

Was thinking about this the other day. Say you put in your 20 years and decide not only to retire in Canada but to also give up your US citizenship and become a card carrying cannuck. Would the US government still pay you your retirement as if you stayed a US citizen?
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2011, 10:58 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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There are lots of people in the US armed forces who aren't citizens, and they're entitled to the same pension as everyone else.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2011, 11:01 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
There are lots of people in the US armed forces who aren't citizens, and they're entitled to the same pension as everyone else.
I question your use of "lots of" here.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2011, 11:03 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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Let me take it to an extreme just for arguments sake. Say I do 20 and retire then move to North Korea or China and renounce my us citizenship. Do US tax payer dollars still come to me in this case?
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2011, 11:17 PM
friedo friedo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
I question your use of "lots of" here.
According to a 2009 article in the New York Times,

Quote:
About 8,000 permanent immigrants with green cards join the armed forces annually, the Pentagon reports, and about 29,000 foreign-born people currently serving are not American citizens.
If that doesn't qualify as "lots," then I don't know what does.

Of course, many of those people will become citizens eventually. But they're not required to, and they are entitled to their military pensions regardless. I don't think it matters where they decide to live.

A US citizen renouncing their citizenship might be treated differently; I don't know.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:18 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
Let me take it to an extreme just for arguments sake. Say I do 20 and retire then move to North Korea or China and renounce my us citizenship. Do US tax payer dollars still come to me in this case?
Why would the USA not send money to China?

Seriously, if you earn a pension you keep receiving it, unless it was earned under false pretences - kind of hard to consider 20 years as false pretences. If you are sued, someone might attach/garnishee your pension... but you are still getting it.

The "dirty cop is fired, no pension" as I understand it usually refers to loss of the option to retire early. Many government pensions might have 25 and out or 30 and out. If you are fired before you reach the magic number, you have to wait to age 65 to collect a much smaller pension; but they can't take away the pension you earned. If you make the magic number, you start collecting right away. Someone who started at 18 might collect at 48 if they behave, a far cry from 65. A pension entitlement is like wages, you earn it as you go along. It just goes into a big piggy bank in the sky rather than your pocket and you collect later with interest... Unless you are an employee of an airline or other big American corporation, in which case if you are not an executive they simply declare your pension null and void when they go bankrupt.

Not sure what the Social Security requirements and other payables require. I assume you need to be resident in the USA to qualify for medicare, prescription benefit, etc.

Last edited by md2000; 09-23-2011 at 11:19 PM..
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2011, 02:45 AM
UDS UDS is offline
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Your pension is part of the compensation you earn through the services you render to your employer. Once you've rendered the services you have earned the compensation, even if actual payment is deferred until you retire rather than until the end of the current month.

I suppose the US could make it a term of the military pension plan from the outset that your entitlement to pension is conditional on your being a US citizen/residing in the US when payment falls due, but I cannot for the life of me think why they would want to do that. If they don't want non-citizens to join the military then they shouldn't admit them. If they do, then they should obviously offer them the same compensation package as citizens get; your compensation package is supposed to reward and incentivize you, not punish and discourage you.
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  #8  
Old 07-14-2012, 06:38 PM
Illuminatum Illuminatum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
Was thinking about this the other day. Say you put in your 20 years and decide not only to retire in Canada but to also give up your US citizenship and become a card carrying cannuck. Would the US government still pay you your retirement as if you stayed a US citizen?
1. Never underestimate the vindictive nature of the US government.

2. Well-wishing opinions may put forth that spending 20-30 years or more with the US military "should" allow you a measure of decency and fair-handed treatment, to elect other citizenship elsewhere. However, such notions are apparently trumped by the .... vindictive nature of the US government.

3. Citing specific, traceable US government regulations and administrative decisions, court cases, etc., may be useful in revealing the unambiguously vindictive nature of the US government.

4. So, I might propose that a glance be spent on DoD Financial Management Regulation Volume 7B, Chapter 6 = "SUMMARY OF MAJOR CHANGES TO DoD 7000.14-R, VOLUME 7B, CHAPTER 6 “FOREIGN CITIZENSHIP AFTER RETIREMENT” which can be found here or discovered at considerable expense by hiring legal counsel:

http://comptroller.defense.gov/fmr/07b/07b_06.pdf

5. The vindictive nature of the US government is revealed once again in this regulation and the corresponding history of decisions:

Decision: 37 Comp Gen 207

Text summary: The right of a retired member of Regular Navy to receive retired pay is contingent upon continuation of a status in the Regular Navy and loss of United States citizenship by a member is inconsistent with continuation of military status. Therefore, the right to retired pay terminates if a member of the Regular Navy becomes a citizen of a foreign country.

---------------

Decision: 41 Comp Gen 715

a. Retired Reserve officers, receiving retired pay under laws other than 10 U.S.C. 12731, who lose U.S. citizenship by acquiring foreign citizenship are no longer eligible for involuntary recall to active duty in times of war or national emergency, and the acquisition of foreign nationality would be inconsistent with the oath prescribed for Reserve officers to support and defend the Constitution of the United States in section 16 of title 5. Therefore, in the absence of any law authorizing continuation of an officer’s membership in a Reserve organization after the officer becomes a citizen of a foreign country, payment of retired pay may not be approved.

b. A Reserve officer may not terminate retired status through resignation or other means, then acquire foreign citizenship and continue to receive retired pay.

c. Retired enlisted members of the Regular Components remain a part of the Armed Forces, and their right to retired or retirement pay is dependent on continuation of their military status.

------------------

Decision: 44 Comp Gen 51

Summary:

a. A retired enlisted member of a Regular Component of the Armed Forces who loses United States citizenship when he or she acquires citizenship in a foreign country has taken a voluntary action so inconsistent with the oath of allegiance to the United States and status as a member of the Armed Forces to warrant termination of retired pay.

b. United States citizenship is not a prerequisite to receipt of retired pay; however, if a citizen of the United States by birth acquires foreign citizenship, then his or her retired pay may be terminated.

-----------

There are many other similar observations in the applicable regulations and statutes, but the foregoing may gave some guidance for further research for anyone truly interested in the vindictive nature of the US government in such matters, and the abysmal manner in which its retired personnel are sometimes treated.
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  #9  
Old 07-14-2012, 08:21 PM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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I'm sorry, I wasn't clear, how would you describe the nature of the US Government?
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  #10  
Old 07-14-2012, 08:41 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I don't know what he would say, but I've heard people say that the U.S. government has a vindictive nature, one that is likely to be underestimated.

Last edited by Acsenray; 07-14-2012 at 08:41 PM..
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  #11  
Old 07-15-2012, 06:20 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Yet if I recall, fredoneverything.net writes about collecting a military disability pension living in Mexico ( but has not iven up US citizenship) I think?
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2012, 06:31 PM
R. P. McMurphy R. P. McMurphy is offline
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Understand, when there was a draft, you didn't have to be a US citizen to get drafted. You only had to be a resident. As I understand it, that goes back to the Civil War when immigrants were being drafted soon after they got off the boat.

There is a difference between not being a US citizen and renouncing one's citizenship. I don't think that the government wants to pay retirement benefits to defectors.
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2012, 09:37 PM
mbh mbh is offline
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When you join the US armed forces, you take an oath to protect the US against all enemies, foreign or domestic.

When you change citizenship, you are expected to take an oath to protect the new country against all enemies, potentially including the US.

Governments take oaths and affirmations seriously. When you give your word, they expect you to keep it.
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  #14  
Old 07-16-2012, 01:18 AM
Yeah Yeah is offline
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>90% of the foregoing is untrue or irrelevant.

Retired members of the military do not receive a pension, they receive "retired pay." To receive retired pay, which is something like a retainer, one has to be eligible (at least in theory) to be called back into service. To serve, you have to swear to uphold the Constitution, etc., and you can't do this if you have renounced your US citizenship. You can serve without US citizenship (although perhaps not as a commissioned officer) and you can serve (even as a commissioned officer) while holding dual citizenship, but certain actions that you take with regard to your citizenship status can make you ineligible to receive retired pay. The law is complicated. I know that even if you maintain your US citizenship and remain in the US after you retire, you cannot take a job with a foreign government unless you get permission, or you risk losing your retired pay.
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