The current Reserve Component (RC) retirement is based on a combination of satisfactory years and points achieved each year. An RC member (that is, a member of the National Guard or Reserves) earns 15 points each year for participation, one point each day for two weeks of annual training and any other active duty time served, and points for weekend drills, performing funeral honors, and completing correspondence courses, depending on how many hours of work are performed. RC members must earn 50 points annually to have a satisfactory year.
Once the RC member has 20 satisfactory years, he or she can apply for retirement. Although it may commence earlier, RC retired pay generally begins at age 60.
The calculation of RC retired pay is a bit more complicated than that used for a “regular retirement,” that is, one from active duty.
Assume that Roberta Roe is an E-7 who has served for at least three years as an E-7 and served a total of 21 satisfactory years. She applies for discharge in 2016 and she has a “high-3” pay rate of $4,423.80 for her retired pay base. Her retired pay multiplier is the number of points she earned during her career divided by 360, multiplied by 2.5%.
In this case, assume that Roberta earned 365 points during her first year of service – attending recruit training and her Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) school while on active duty – and then she earned the minimum 50 points each year thereafter for 20 years. Accordingly Roberta has 365 + 1,000 points or 1,365 retirement points. The number of points divided by 360 equals 3.79 – this is the equivalent of active-duty time. This number is then multiplied by 2.5% to get the retired pay multiplier, that is, the percentage of her base pay that will establish the amount of the pension. In this case it’s 3.79 x 2.5 = 9.475%.
The last step is to determine the monthly pension payment. This is the product of the retired pay base and the retired pay multiplier just established: $4,423.80 x 9.475% = $419.16 per month retired pay.
Whether you are in the reserves or a military spouse, knowing your rights and responsibilities is essential should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce in Massachusetts.
Contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar, an attorney experienced in military family law, either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.