Here’s a summary: the services discourage sanctuary because they have to pay big bucks for it. (DFAS will also do this calculation for you.) Congratulations on your service– there’s not many Final Pay members still on duty! The pay base for that pension is calculated from the average of the highest 36 months of pay in that rank using the pay tables in effect when you start that pension. I’m trying to get a ballpark idea of my reserve retirement pay when I turn 60 this November. Standard ROTC Summer Cruise/Training Orders (prior to 1978 – NAVPERS 2500, after 1978 – NAVEDTRA 1320/1) issued for each period of a midshipman summer training and endorsed upon the member’s arrival and departure. My age now is 61, when can I apply? When I first enlisted in the active duty AF, it was for at least 20. Cori, the federal law for early Reserve retirements applies only to Reserve and National Guard members. The part which I’m frequently asked about is paragraph 1370(d)(5)(A). As of 16 August, this post has been updated using the 2016 pay scale. In addition your pension is calculated from the High Three average of the pay tables in the year that you reach age 60 (2020 in your case) and at the longevity as though you’d been on active duty the entire time. I’m not sure how the Army arrived at their determination of your retirement rank, and you made good points in your 4 July message. What do I need to do to not have to pay the money back? Should I apply for CRSC, or is that automatically calculated with your retirement paperwork. That three-year requirement can be waived to two years by the service secretary. Maybe you’d win that bet (it’d motivate me!) You can verify that by going to your service’s online record of your good years and your point count. (That’s in federal law.) The definition of active federal service starts in Title 10 of the U.S. Code, parts 101(d)(6) and (7). If you meet the TERA criteria then calculate your pension using the FMR TERA tables at this link: and consider the issues at this link: Please let me know how this works out. Note that the multiplier is 2.0% for the Blended Retirement System. Then you’ll add them all together and divide by 36. Thanks Doug. Some individuals I have spoken to said it is while others say it is not. So, is there a financial advantage to going to age 60, 28 more months, as an E-7? Those 36 months will probably be the ones just before your pension starts, and at the pay tables in effect when your pension starts. Sorry about that comments glitch, Jim. Per 10 U.S.C., section 971, graduates of the U.S. Here’s a minimum breakdown of points earned during a normal year: This article covers ways to earn more retirement points in the Guard and Reserves. Where? If you’re not near a military site then contact your service’s Reserve/Guard personnel command directly and ask them to update your file. Right now you’ve maxed out that longevity, but it’s remotely possible that DoD could change the pay tables as they did in 2007. Thanks in advance. Once you verify the dates of your 2008 NDAA deployments, the start date for your pension might be later (closer to your MRD) than I’ve forecast. Returning to drill status from the IRR can be difficult, but it varies by service and by specialty. And if you’re eligible to start your pension in late 2017 (because of mobilizations for an earlier retirement), then you might want to wait until January 2018 when that pay raise kicks in. Or just the times I was called to AD from being in the Reserve/Guard (only 15 other months)? Here’s more info plus the AF sanctuary instruction: I’m not sure whether the 2011 edition is the latest version and I don’t have access to the .mil instruction databases, so you should check that with a Reserve center. Some of the math depends on your age at retirement and when you’d start a Reserve pension. For a fee, AUSN will even review your record to determine how much you’ll be getting and what steps to take. The amount of time deducted from your total active duty creditable service or retirement point credit will be equal to the time you served on active duty for training during midshipman cruise periods. I’m happy to help with those numbers, although I depend on the manual calculation instead of those point charts. Some services allow selectees to pin on their higher rank before they actually get paid for the rank, so that sentence clarified that it depends on the date of the pay and not the selection or pinning. Another issue is “combat zone”. You’re simply continued in your “retired awaiting pay” status until you reach age 60. Most Reserve/Guard retirees are willing to take this risk because the Department of Defense pays for it. Thanks for the most informative retirement article I’ve ever read! I recently answered a couple of questions on calculating the amount of a Reserve retirement for both Final Pay and High Three pay systems. DoD requires that your pension be deposited directly in your financial account, so you’ll also need to check that they enter your account numbers correctly. Army National Guard active duty could also occur under Title 32 of the U.S. Code, which allows states to mobilize their Guard members with federal funds. Good question, Henry, I’m sorry to say that you could have started your Reserve pension over a year ago. Keep an eye on your service’s Reserve personnel website or ask them about it. You’d be able to continue to do drill weekends and ATs but the only way to get orders of more than 29 days (let alone mobilization) would be with a three-star general’s approval from AF personnel HQ (the active-duty HQ, not the Reserve HQ). That’s the most points I’ve ever seen. Points accumulate from both active duty and the Reserve/Guard system. This means that you have to serve three years’ time in grade to retire at the rank of O-5 (waiverable down to two years) but you do not have to worry about MRD. When your PEBD or DIEMS is set to that date then you’ll be paid for your current rank— and with over 26 years of longevity. What am I looking at for retirement? That helps a lot. Unfortunately I have hired a lawyer to sue the government for my benefits. He may be able to make changes to his SBP beneficiary, too, unless that’s covered in the divorce agreement. I’ve been around the block a few laps and I have the spare time to research this information. The formula’s resulting dollar figure is rounded down. Anyone would do better with TSP invested into moderate stocks. I’m not sure of the Army meaning of the phrase “TPU soldier”. As near as I’ve been able to learn, that can be accomplished in the IRR. Let us know if you have any questions about the decision…, Hi Doug, fantastic and informative article- thank you! The services have all been clamping down on the courses that qualify for IRR points, and it’s getting more difficult to access them without a valid CAC. This is more than 37 years since February 1983, which is the >34 and >36 columns in the O-3 pay tables (for 2018, 2019, and 2020). The High Three Reserve pension calculation is: (points / 360) * (36-month average of base pay) * 2.5%, Calculating the 36-month average of your O-5 base pay is a little tedious. I’d suggest you begin with a current copy of the OPM FERS Handbook. First, your Date of Initial Entry on Military Service is after 8 September 1980 so your pension is High Three. Regardless of the age that you’re eligible to retire or when you choose to start your pension, your Tricare benefits start at age 60. Thank you so much your article helped me a lot. It was rarely approved during the last 13 years of war, and in a drawdown it would be extremely unlikely. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to assume that you “retire awaiting pay”. Thank you. Third, the early-pension accounting is finicky. Of course the key is whether you’re able to stay on active duty to finish 20 years. Even if HRC agrees that you’re retiring as an O-3, you still should ensure that they can quote the applicable regulation– and avoid a later unpleasant surprise. (The other option is “discharge” or “separation”, which I’ve only seen twice.) A Final Pay Reserve/Guard pension uses the pay tables in effect when you reach age 60. I want to decide if the increase in retired pay is sufficient to stay in the Air Guard as a Drill Status Guardsman (DSG) another 28 months, until I reach age 60, or if I should just retire in the next few months. O-5 pay in 2018 tops out at $9280.20, and your High Three average of today’s O-5 pay would be roughly 97% of that (assuming 1.5% pay raises every year). You started getting O-5 pay at 0001 31 Aug 2018 and you’ll retire awaiting pay at 2359 on 31 Aug 2021. It can work with the Final Pay pension system (it’s usually less than a 10-year payback), which is applicable to those who started active duty before 8 September 1980.