(Bloomberg) — Future U.S. military families and retirees should be given a choice of health-insurance plans and help paying the premiums, according to an independent commission that looked at ways to update benefits and slow the growth of personnel costs.

The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission also suggested adding 401(k)-style retirement accounts to the mix of military benefits.

Those and other recommendations could save the government more than $12 billion a year, according to the commission's report.

Convincing Congress to make any of the proposed changes would would be a hard sell. Lawmakers say that there's reluctance on Capitol Hill to doing anything that might be seen as diminishing military pay or benefits, even though those costs are eating into a constrained Pentagon budget.

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