House committee approves defense bill; seeks to change military retirement benefits

The House Armed Services Committee has passed a nearly $612 billion defense policy bill.

The measure would change military retirement benefits and keep the A-10 attack jet flying, even though the Pentagon wants to retire it.

The 60 to 2 vote came after 4 a.m. Thursday following a more than 18-hour committee session.

The committee agreed to move on retirement reforms suggested earlier this year by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.

Under the change, military members could still get defined pension benefits, but they could also enroll in a thrift savings plan, like a 401(k), that would include some matching contributions from the government.

The change would allow troops to get at least some retirement benefit even if they don't stay in the military for 20 years.