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Fiscal Year 2004 Military Pay and Allowances
FY 2004 Involuntary Separation Pay
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Enlisted Involuntary Separation Pay

Many military members who are involuntarily separated from the military are entitled to involuntary separation pay (severance pay).

To be eligible, a military member must have six or more years of active duty, and less than 20 years.

There are two types of pay: (1) Full Pay and (2) Half Pay. To qualify for full pay, the member must be involuntarily separated, be fully qualified for retention and the service must be characterized as "Honorable." Examples would be separation due to reduction in force, or separation due to exceeding the high year of tenure.

To qualify for half pay, the member must be involuntarily separated, with service characterized as Honorable or General (under honorable conditions), and the reason for discharge must not be one of the following:

  • The member is separated from active duty at the member’s own request.
  • The member is separated from active duty during an initial term of enlistment or an initial period of obligated service. The initial term of enlistment or initial period of obligated service is the active service obligation that the member incurred upon initial enlistment or upon enrollment in a commissioning program. This limitation also applies to a member who desires to reenlist or continue at the conclusion of the initial term of enlistment or an initial period of obligation and is denied by the Military Service concerned.
  • The member is released from active duty for training or from full-time National Guard duty for training.
  • The member is immediately eligible at separation for retired or retainer pay based upon his or her military service.
  • The member is a warrant officer whose appointment is terminated and who then elects to enlist.
  • The member is separated as a result of the execution of a court-martial sentence.
  • The member is being dropped from the rolls of the Military Service concerned.
  • The member is being separated under other than honorable conditions.
  • The member is an enlisted member who is separated for unsatisfactory performance or misconduct.
  • The member is an officer who is separated for substandard performance, or acts of misconduct or moral or professional dereliction.
  • A Regular officer having twice failed for selection for the promotion to the next higher grade is not entitled to separation pay if that officer, after such second failure of selection for promotion, is selected for, and declines, continuation on active duty for a period that is equal to or more than the amount of service required to qualify the officer for retirement.

There are several other conditions that must be met. For details, see Department of Defense (DOD) Pay Regulation, Volume 7A (Active Duty & Reserve Pay), Chapter 35 -- Separation Payments.

Compute full separation pay at 10 percent of 12 times the amount of monthly basic pay to which entitled at the time of separation from active duty, times the active service time.

Compute “half separation pay” at 50 percent of what the full separation pay would have been.

Involuntary separation pay is based upon grade (rank) and years of active service:

  6 7 8 9 10 11 12
E-9         45,230.40 49,753.44 55,507.68
E-8     29,620.80 33,323.40 38,664.00 42,530.40 47,610.72
E-7 19,023.12 22,193.64 26,893.44 30,255.12 34,693.20 38,162.52 42,914.88
E-6 16,632.00 19,404.00 24,154.56 27,173.88 31,154.40 34,269.84 38,668.32
E-5 15,340.32 17,897.04 21,608.64 24,309.72 28,076.40 30,884.04 34,097.76
E-4 13,618.80 15,888.60 18,158.40 20,428.20 22,698.00 24,967.80 27,237.60
E-3 11,415.60 13,318.20 15,220.80 17,123.40 19,026.00 20,928.60 22,831.20
  13 14 15 16 17 18
E-9 60,133.32 66,568.32 71,323.20 78,514.56 83,421.72 91,076.40
E-8 51,578.28 57,249.36 61,338.60 67,536.00 71,575.00 80,254.80
E-7 46,491.12 52,748.64 56,516.40 61,816.32 65,679.84 71,182.80
E-6 41,890.68 46,423.44 49,739.40 53,585.28 56,934.36 60,691.68
E-5 36,939.24 39,780.72 42,622.20 45,463.68 48,305.16 51,146.64
E-4 29,507.40 31,777.20 34,047.00 36,316.80 38,586.60 40,856.40
E-3 24,733.80 26,636.40 28,539.00 30,441.60 32,344.20 34,246.80


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