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Retirement Decision Point: Military Career Status Bonus

Writing on a paper with a pen.

If you have been in the military for more than ten years, you are likely looking at sticking around for retirement. If so, you have a retirement decision to make prior to reaching your fifteenth year in service.

Servicemembers who entered active duty after August 1986 may choose to accept the so-called "Redux" or Career Status Bonus that offers $30K up front and a significantly reduced retirement payment later. If you entered service after August 1986, you have the option 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.

No matter which retirement plan you choose, your military retirement will probably not be enough to provide for all your retirement needs. As the previous example demonstrates, it takes discipline and planning to make the most of your retirement.

For more information on the CSB retirement system, including several examples, see this detail page.

You can also learn more about your military retirement options, including which retirement plan you may be eligible for (including the new Blended Retirement System) and the benefits of each retirement option on our Military Retirement System Overview Page.

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