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).
Note: In accordance with Section 631 of P.L. 114-92, Section 354 of Title 37, U.S.C., was amended to discontinue authorization of any new payments of the Career Status Bonus (CSB/REDUX) as of January 1, 2018. No new CSB agreement may be entered into after December 31, 2017 and, accordingly, no member may elect a reduction in that member's retirement multiplier (i.e., convert to the REDUX retirement plan) as a consequence of electing a CSB after such date. An agreement to elect a reduced retirement multiplier in exchange for a CSB made on or prior to December 31, 2017, remains in effect. Payments pursuant to a CSB agreement entered into on or before December 31, 2017, may continue to be made on or after January 1, 2018. Letters to notify currently-serving active duty members of their eligibility to make a CSB election was discontinued as of July 1, 2017.
In general, Soldiers who have accumulated 20 years of active service are eligible for Retired Pay when they retire from the Army.
The active duty military retirement plan is a defined benefit plan that is based on the Soldier's years of service (YOS) and the basic pay being earned near the end of the Soldier's career. To qualify for regular retirement, the Soldier must complete at least 20 years of active duty or equivalent.
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 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-36 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-36" (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-36" 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-36 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-36" 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-36" 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-36" 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 Consumer 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-36" 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.
Termination of Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA): Army Directive 2017-38 -signed by the SECARMY 15 Dec 2017 terminates the use of the Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA). Authority to approve requests for TERA from eligible Soldiers will terminate 28 February 2018. The current eligibility criteria for TERA remains in effect. Officers currently eligible for TERA must submit requests to their chain of command NLT 15 January 2018.For promotion selection boards that release after 15 January 2018, officers must submit a TERA request within 30 calendar days from the release of the board results. Requests must be approved within 45 days of receipt of the request. All officers must be retired NLT 31 August 2018.
Blended Retirement System: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, Public Law 114-92, enacted 25 November 2015, created a new retirement system for the Uniformed Services. This new retirement system will apply to all Service members who enter the Uniformed Services with a Date of Initial Entry into Military Service (DIEMS) of 1 January 2018 or later. Referred to as the "Blended Retirement System," this new system is a combination of a defined benefit plan, similar to predecessor plans that pay monthly retired pay, plus contributions to the Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
Prior to retirement ensure DFAS Retired and Annuitant Pay has a good email address for you in myPay , not the us.army.mil since that will go away upon retirement. Use myPay to check and make changes to your pay account to include Retiree Account Statement (RAS) which includes the monthly and yearly RAS, Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC), Pay Changes to include Allotments, Beneficiaries and Direct Deposit, Tax information to include Federal Withholding, State Withholding, and End of Year Retiree Tax Statement (1099R).
Access the MyArmyBenefits calculator to calculate your retirement pay:
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:
Final Pay High 36 Retirement Pay Calculator:
REDUX Retirement Pay Calculator:
Blended Retirement System: