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Reduced retirement age eligibility

Retirement Check

For further information about early retirement age eligibility visit the Air Reserve Personnel Center Web site at www.arpc.afrc.af.mil. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tanya Trejo)

CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The Department of Defense issued new guidelines on Oct 28, 2008 for early receipt of retired pay for members of the reserve components. Instead of waiting until age 60 to receive Reserve retired pay, eligible members could receive retired pay prior to age 60 but not before age 50.

Under interim changes approved to Department of Defense Instruction 1215.07, Service Credit for Reserve Retirement, issued under a provision of law passed by Congress effective Jan. 28, 2008, reserve component members are able to reduce the age at which they are eligible to receive retirement pay by three 3 months for each cumulative period of 90 days served on active duty in any fiscal year.

Under the new law, members eligible to receive retired pay earlier than age 60 must still wait until age 60 to receive healthcare benefits.

Involuntary mobilization and voluntary active duty in support of a contingency qualify, but there is no requirement to be involuntarily mobilized or to support a contingency or to serve on active duty OCONUS in order to receive credit under the law. Most active duty time qualifies, including training, operational support duties, and school tours- it does not matter whether active duty time was paid for under MPA or RPA accounts-provided such active duty is performed under the authority of 10 U.S.C. § 12301(d).

Also included is full-time National Guard duty under a call to active service by a governor and authorized by the president or the secretary of defense under 32 U.S.C. § 502(f) for purposes of responding to either a national emergency declared by the president or a national emergency supported by federal funds.

Time served on active duty: as an Active Guard Reserve (AGR) member (10 U.S.C. § 12310); on annual tour (10 U.S.C. § 12301(b)); while in captive status (10 U.S.C. § 12301(g)); for medical treatment, medical evaluation for disability purposes or medical study (10 U.S.C. §12301(h)); as a member not assigned to, or participating satisfactorily in units (10 U.S.C. § 12303); under active duty agreements (10 U.S.C. § 12311); for disciplinary/courts-martial (10 U.S.C. § 12315); or for muster duty (10 U.S.C. §12319) is not creditable service for purposes of reducing retired pay age.

Qualifying active duty service performed after Jan. 28, 2008, the date the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act was enacted, is creditable. The law does not provide credit for time served on or before Jan. 28.

An example: Airman Smith agreed to perform five days of active duty service on MPA orders in Feb., 2008. He then volunteered for active duty service beginning June 1, 2008 for six months ending Nov. 30 (leave, reconstitution and PDMRA inclusive (as applicable)). Airman Smith thus performed 127 days in FY 2008, and 61 days in FY 2009. Under this scenario, all of the active duty time Airman Smith performed could be credited toward reduced retirement age eligibility because it was active duty time performed under circumstances permitted under the new law (i.e., orders for voluntary service, 10 U.S.C. § 12310(d)). However, because time credited must total 90 days or multiples of 90 days in the aggregate per fiscal year in order to correspondingly reduce his retirement age by three months, or multiples of three months, Airman Smith will be able to reduce his retirement age only by three months for FY 2008. Had he performed 53 more days in active service in total after Jan. 28, 2008, prior to going on active duty June 1, he would have served on active duty for 180 days in the aggregate in FY 2008 and thus would be able to reduce his retirement age by six months. Similarly, because Airman Smith has thus far served on active duty 61 days in FY 2009, he must perform active duty service for an additional 29 days, in the aggregate, in FY 2009 in order to reduce his retirement age by an additional three months.

All Airmen are encouraged to ensure that their orders specify the statutory provision under which their active duty service is performed. Airmen are also encouraged to keep track of their active duty service and orders to ensure they are receiving credit for that service, and to ensure they meet the cumulative 90 days thresholds required to reduce retirement age.

For further information visit the Air Reserve Personnel Center Web site at www.arpc.afrc.af.mil.
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