Most Popular Military Pay Articles

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    The military is looking at a potential 2.1% pay raise for 2017.
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    Check out the 2017 US military pay scale charts for all ranks for active duty, as well as Reserve and Guard components.
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    The Military Retirement System
    Military.com
    The following is a summary of what you need to know regarding Military Retirement pay benefits.
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    COLA for Retired Pay
    Military.com
    Each year military retirees receive a Cost of Living Adjustment to their retirement pay. The increase is based on inflation rates.
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    Military Reserve Retirement
    Military.com
    National Guard & Reserve members who complete a minimum 20 qualifying years of service become eligible for retired pay at age 60.

Military Retired Pay Overview

There are many financial considerations when planning for retirement
There are many financial considerations when planning for retirement

The military (active duty) retirement system is arguably the best retirement deal around. Unlike most retirement plans, the Armed Forces offer a pension (technically a "reduced compensation for reduced services.") with benefits, that start the day you retire, no matter how old you are. That means you could start collecting a regular retirement pension as early as 37 years old. What's more, that pension check can grow with a cost of living adjustment each year.

Note: The Reserve Component retirement pay system is somewhat different from the active duty. Go to the Military Reserve Component Retirement Pay Overview to learn more.

However there are many factors that determine exactly how much your pension will be. Over the past twenty five years, the government has made some significant changes to the military retirement system.

Determining Your Retirement Payment Rate

If you entered the service:

  • Prior to September 1980 you are eligible for the Final Pay retirement system.
  • Between September 8th, 1980 and August 1986 you are eligible for the High 36 system.
  • After August 1986 you are eligible to choose either the High 36 retirement system, or the Career Status Bonus/REDUX (CSB) retirement system. If you decline to make a choice you will automatically receive the High 36 retirement plan.

Click here to learn more about the different retirement plans that are currently available.

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