Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
Congressional Research Service Washington United States
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The military retirement system is a government-funded, noncontributory, defined benefit system that has historically been viewed as a significant incentive in retaining a career military force. The system currently includes monthly compensation for qualified active and reserve retirees, disability benefits for those deemed medically unfit to serve, and a survivor annuity program for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees. The amount of compensation is dependent on time served, basic pay at retirement, and annual Cost-of-Living-Adjustments COLAs. Military retirees are also entitled to nonmonetary benefits including exchange and commissary privileges, medical care through TRICARE, and access to Morale, Welfare and Recreation MWR facilities and programs.Currently, active component personnel are eligible for retirement or vested after completing 20 years of service YOS and have a choice between two options High-Three or Career Status BonusRedux based on career expectations and the individuals financial situation. Reserve personnel are eligible for retirement after 20 years of creditable service based on a points system, but do not typically begin to draw retirement pay until age 60. A third category of retirement is disability retirement.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations