1. Careers
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Reserve and National Guard Retirement Pay System


Army Reserves Hold Operation Patriot Warrior Training Exercise
Scott Olson / Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you are a member of the Active Reserves or or National Guard member, you must meet the following minimum requirements to be eligible for retired pay at age 60 (age 50 in some cases):


• be at least 60 years of age (Note: Some reservists may qualify for retirement pay as early as age 50. See related article), and

• have performed at least 20 years of qualifying service computed under Section 12732, Title 10, United States Code (See Qualifying Year below), and

• have performed the last eight years of qualifying service while a member of the Active Reserve. (NOTE: If you completed your service requirement between 5 October 1994 and 30 September 2001, you need only have performed the last 6 years of qualifying service while a member of the active Reserve). (Added Note: Effective 1 October 2002, and on, the eight year requirement was changed to six years) and

• not be entitled, under any other provision of law, to retired pay from an armed force or retainer pay as a member of the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve; and

• must apply for retired pay by submitting an application to the branch of service you were assigned to at time of your discharge or transfer to the Retired Reserve. For those serving in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve the address is Commander, AR-PERSCOM, ATTN; ARPC-ALQ, 9700 Page Ave, St Louis, MO 63132-5200.


    As a Reserve/National Guard member, you must have 20 “qualifying” years of service to be eligible for retired pay at age 60. A “qualifying year” is one in which you earn a minimum of 50 retirement points.

    This subject is too board and complex to be explained effectively in a publication of this nature. In very general terms, however, a soldier establishes a retirement year ending date by entering the Active Reserve. The date you enter the Active Reserve is your retirement year beginning date (RYB). As long as you have no break in service, your retirement year ending date (RYE) will be one year later. For example, a soldier who joins the Active Reserve on 2 July 1986 would have a RYB of 2 July 1986 and a RYE of 1 July 1987.


    Guard/Reserve members may accumulate a total of 365 points per year (366 in a leap year) from inactive and active duty service (one point for each day of duty). However, for retired pay calculation purposes, members can’t use more than 130 inactive points per year (for Reserve years ending before 23 September 1996) .


    To determine how much retired pay you may be eligible to receive, the first step is to calculate the number of equivalent years of service. The formula for computing equivalent years of service for Reserve retired pay at age 60 is fairly simple:

    Total number of Creditable Retirement Points, divided by 360.

    The formula computes the number of equivalent years of service the soldier has completed (comparable to full time service). For example, 3,600 points equals 10 years.

    Military Personnel will notify the Defense Finance & Accounting Service – Cleveland Center (DFAS-CL) of the number of years service you’ve earned. Separating/discharging rather than transferring to the Retired Reserve will impact your retired pay and should be carefully considered. Guard and Reserve members who separate or are discharged before age 60 will be credited for basic pay purposes only with the years up until their discharge. Members who transfer to the Retired Reserve until age 60 will receive credit (for basic pay purposes only) for the years spent in the Retired Reserve.

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.