Cost and Benefits of Longevity Payments for Time Spent in the Delayed Entry Program

NSIAD-84-145: Published: Sep 26, 1984. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the costs and benefits of longevity payments for time spent in the Department of Defense's delayed entry program. The program allows individuals to enlist but to delay reporting for duty for up to 12 months, until appropriated jobs and training are available.

GAO found that time spent in the program counts as longevity for determining base pay. GAO also found that: (1) no research exists crediting longevity with being a useful recruiting incentive; (2) most anecdotal evidence suggests that potential recruits are unaware of the program; (3) the pay credit is an inefficient economic incentive; and (4) the pay credit for those who entered in fiscal year (FY) 1984 will cost about $41 million in FY 1985. If there are no changes, pay for longevity credits earned in the delayed entry program could require about $3.7 billion in appropriations over the next 20 years.

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