Guard, Reserve Soldiers Can Opt to Retire Early

WASHINGTON -- More reserve-component members may now be eligible to receive retirement pay before 60, if they meet certain criteria.

The new added categories include reserve-component members who are activated to respond to national emergencies such as natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes. Another category is for those in warrior transition units who were hurt while mobilized for such responses

The most important thing members can do to meet the criteria. The mobilization orders are listed on your DD-214 or other official documents. Those documents need to have any one of the following Title 10 or Title 32 U.S. codes annotated: 12301(a), 12301(d), 12301(h), 12302, 12304, 12305 or 12306.

If one of those numbers is not there, either you won't be eligible.

There are some exceptions to the rule. Members who've demonstrated substandard performance are an exception, for instance.

When calculating your time, you will calculate each fiscal year independently (key in each fiscal year separately running from OCT 1-SEP 30 or from the first day on AD within the fiscal year to the end of the fiscal year). Divide by 90 to get the full number of total qualifying periods for each fiscal year. In other words, you can take total days in a fiscal year, divide by 90 to get the qualifying periods for each fiscal year. Any days left over that are less than 90 within a fiscal year will not count.

After you run all applicable fiscal years separately, you could take all qualifying periods from all fiscal years and add together for final number of qualifying periods towards 90 day drop. If you need assistance, contact your personnel office. 

While members who meet the criteria can receive retirement pay before age 60, they'll still need to wait until their 60th birthday before they are eligible for Tricare. Other than that, they'll receive the normal retirement benefits such as exchange and commissary benefits.

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