Regular Army: Retired
Benefit Fact Sheet
In most cases, Soldiers who have completed 20 years of active service are eligible to receive Retired Pay at the end of their career. The Date of Initial Entry into Military Service (DIEMS) determines which of the three retirement systems a Soldier falls under. Retired Pay amount and requirements depend on whether a Soldier qualifies for active duty retired pay or non-regular retired pay (Reserve Component).
In general, Soldiers who have accumulated 20 years of active service are eligible for Retired Pay when they retire from the Army.
There are three methods for computing non-disability Retired Pay depending on the Soldier's DIEMS. The highlights of these three retirement plans follow:
Final Pay Plan: For Soldiers who entered military service prior to September 8, 1980 retired pay is computed using 50 percent of basic pay after 20 years of service plus an additional 2.5 percent for each additional year. For example, a Soldier who retires with 24 years of service (YOS) will receive retired pay equivalent to 60 percent of final basic pay (50% +10% (2.5% x 4 years)). Final Pay Plan also includes a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) - usually annually.
High-Three Plan: For Soldiers who entered military service between September 8, 1980 and July 31, 1986, retired pay is computed using 50 percent of the average of the "high-three" years (36 months) of basic pay after 20 years of service, plus an additional 2.5 percent for each additional year. The example for a "high-three" participant with 24 years of service will be the same as the Final Pay Plan (50% +10% (2.5% x 4 years), however the multiplier (60%) is applied to the average basic pay for the highest 36 months rather than the final basic pay. As with the Final Pay Plan, the High-Three Plan includes a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) - usually annually.
Career Status Bonus (CSB)/REDUX: Soldiers who entered military service on or after August 1, 1986 have a choice of two retirement options: (1) retire under the "high-three" plan described above, or (2) retire under the provisions of the Military Retirement Reform Act (MRRA), commonly known as REDUX, and receive a $30,000 Career Status Bonus (CSB) after 15 years of service with an agreement to complete 20 years of service. This retirement system is completely voluntary.
For Soldiers who elect the REDUX option, retired pay is computed using 40 percent of the "high-three" average basic pay after 20 years of service, with an additional 3.5 percent for each additional year. The example for an CSB/REDUX participant with 24 years of service will be a retirement pay equal to 54 percent of the "high-three" average basic pay (40% + 14% (3.5% x 4 years)). As with the other two retired pay plans, this plan includes a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) - usually paid annually - however, COLA is 1 percentage point less than the normal full Consumper Price Index (CPI) increase applied to regular retired pay programs.
A feature unique to CSB/REDUX is an adjustment to the retired pay computation when a Soldier reaches age 62. The first adjustment "resets" the multiplier to what it would have been under the "high-three" plan on date of retirement (60% in the example used), and the second adjustment applies the full CPI for every retirement year to compute a new base retirement salary. Future COLAs will still be at COLA minus 1 percent.
Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA): The Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) provides the Secretary of the Army temporary authority (1993 through 2001 and again 2012 through 2018) to offer retirement after completion of 15 years of active service in order to provide additional force management flexibility during times of significant drawdown of forces. The TERA retirement formula is: YOS x 2 ½ % x retired pay base with result reduced by 1% for each year short of 20 YOS.
Access the MyArmyBenefits calculator to calculate your retirement pay: http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home/Benefit_Calculators/Retirement.html
For more detailed information on retirement pay, please visit Army Retirement Services Office (RSO) at:
Army Human Resources Command web site:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service site at:
If you are not a Soldier currently in active status and cannot access the MyBenefits feature on the MyArmyBenefits website, the following links to other DoD retirement pay calculators are provided for your reference:
Final Pay Retirement Pay Calculator: http://militarypay.defense.gov/retirement/calc/01_finalpay.html
High 3 Retirement Pay Calculator: http://militarypay.defense.gov/retirement/calc/02_highthree.html
REDUX Retirement Pay Calculator: http://militarypay.defense.gov/retirement/calc/03_redux.html
Reserve Retirement Pay Calculator: https://www.hrc.army.mil/Calculators/RetirementCalc.aspx
Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Compensation website:
Document Review Date: 31 October 2013