Guard, Reserve Soldiers and Reduced-Age Retirement

Sign by the main gate at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Ft. Worth, formerly Carswell AFB, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Sign by the main gate at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Ft. Worth, formerly Carswell AFB, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The National Defense Authorization Act for 2008 reduced the retirement age for Reserve Component and National Guard Soldiers from 60 to a lesser age, but not below age 50, for those who have served on Active Duty in an eligible status on or after January 29, 2008.

For qualifying service on or after  January 29, 2008, each day on that Active Duty tour could count toward a reduction in retirement age.

What Duty Counts For Reduced Age Retirement

Active Duty, for this purpose, means service pursuant to a call or order to AD on orders specifying, as the authority for such orders, a provision of law referred to in section 101(a) (13)(B), and performed under section 688, 12301 (a), 12302, 12304, 12305, 12406, and chapter 15 (insurrection), or under section 12301 (d) of Title 10 USC. 

Active service includes service on Active Duty as defined in subparagraph of DoDI 1215.07, and Full-time National Guard when under a call to active service by a governor and authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense under section 502(f) or 115 and 502 (f) of Title 32 USC for purposes of responding to either a national emergency declared by the President or a national emergency supported by Federal funds.

Active Guard Reserve (AGR) duty under section 12310 of Title 10 USC, will not be included as service on active duty for determining eligibility for reduced age retired pay for non-regular service.

How Reduced Age Retirement Days Accrue

Even though each day counts, days are credited in aggregates of 90 days only within any Fiscal Year.

During any fiscal year, you can accrue 90 days of early retirement. Fewer days will not count or be carried over to the next fiscal year and more days past 90 will not count and will not be carried over to the next fiscal year.

That 90-day period does not have to be contiguous. It could be the sum of more than one mobilization, so long as it meets the U.S. codes within that fiscal year.

For instance, you might have three 30-day mobilizations in one fiscal year. That would meet the 90-day criteria. Or, there might be six 15-day mobilizations. That too would meet the criteria. Any number of combinations that add to 90 days would count.

If you are mobilized on September 1 for just 90 days, that would not count because the fiscal year begins on October 1, and only 30 days would accrue for the first fiscal year and 60 the next, assuming that no other mobilizations take place.

Another rule is that the 90 days can accumulate over fiscal years.

For example, if you get 90 days credit this fiscal year, you would be able to retire 90 days before age 60. Then, if you also get 90 days credit next fiscal year, you would be able to retire at age 59.5, or 180 days before age 60.

The accumulative effect can continue for a number of years in 90-day blocks, with the only stipulation being that you cannot retire before age 50.

Eligibility For Health Care

The reduction of the minimum age for eligibility for retired pay for non-regular service does not reduce the age for eligibility for health care under 10 USC 1074 (b). The eligibility for health care will continue to be 60 years of age. Qualified Retired Reserve members under the age of 60 looking for TRICARE medical coverage may purchase TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR). Once you reach age 60, you and your qualifying family members become eligible for Tricare Standard, Extra and Prime (where available). 


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Military Retirement