Retired Pay

Air Force Reserve: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

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In most cases, Airmen and Guardians who have completed 20 years of active service are eligible to receive Retired Pay at the end of their career. The Date of Initial Entry into Military Service (DIEMS) determines which of the three retirement systems a service member falls under. Retired Pay amount and requirements depend on whether a service member qualifies for active duty retired pay or non-regular retired pay (Reserve Component).


Air Force Reserve Service members must meet the following minimum requirements to be eligible for non-Regular Retired Pay:

  • Have served at least 20 years of qualifying service (see Benefit Highlights), and

  • Service members who completed the years of qualifying service on or after 5 October 1994, but before 25 April 2005, the last 6 years of qualifying service must have been in a component other than a regular component, the Fleet Reserve, or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve.

  • Service members who completed the years of qualifying service on or after 25 April 2005, there is no minimum reserve component service requirement.

  • The service required above does not need to be continuous years of qualifying service.

  • Not be entitled to retired pay from an armed force, under any other provision of law other than as outlined in 10 United States Code Section 12741

  • Be at least 60 years of age (or subject to reduction of age for receipt of retired pay- see Benefit Highlights*), and

  • Must apply for retired pay by submitting an application on-line at the Virtual Personnel Center, or by mail to: HQ ARPC / DPTTR, 18420 E. Silver Creek Avenue, Building 390, MS 68, Buckley AFB, CO 80011-9502.

Benefit Highlights

A service member in the Air Force Reserve must have completed 20 years of qualifying service to be eligible for non-regular retired pay at age 60. A qualifying year is a complete year in which a service member has earned a minimum of 50 retirement points.

A service member earns points for inactive duty for training (IDT), active duty for training (ADT), active duty, Reserve membership, and equivalent instruction, as follows:

  • One point is earned for each day of active service (active duty and active duty for training)
  • 15 points for each year as a service member (based on a calendar year from the date the service member joins the Air Force (e.g., 31 March-30 March)
  • One point for each unit training assembly
  • One point for every three hours of satisfactory completion of accredited correspondence courses

In a given year a service member may earn up to 365 total points (366 for a leap year), however, only 130 of those points can come from inactive duty (for retirement years ending prior to September 23, 1996, the total is reduced to 60 inactive points; for retirement years ending between September 23, 1996, and October 29, 2000 the total points is reduced to 75; for retirement years ending between October 30, 2000 and October 29, 2007 the total points is reduced to 90).

Non-regular Retired pay under the Reserve system is computed by totaling all points earned during a service member's career, dividing by 360 (one year) and then multiplying by 2.5% to determine the benefit multiplier. The multiplier is then applied to the service member's basic pay rate or "high-36" (36 months) average at the time the retirement request is made. For example, a service member who retires after 24 years of service (YOS) with a total of 3,600 points will receive 25% of their "high-36" average basic pay for retirement (3,600/360 x 2.5=25%).

The minimum number of points to be eligible for retirement at the age of 60 with 20 qualifying years of service is 1,000 (50 points per year) with a corresponding retirement pay equal to 6.94% (1,000/360 x 2.5=6.94%) of basic pay.

Note: Service members who separate or are discharged before age 60 will be credited for basic pay purposes only with the years of qualifying service performed up until the discharge. Service members who transfer to the Retired Reserve until age 60 will receive credit (for basic pay purposes only) for the years spent in the Retired Reserve.

*Reserve component service members may qualify for retired pay prior to age 60 under NDAA 2008. Section 647 reduces the age for receipt of retired pay by three months for each aggregate of 90 days of "specified duty' performed in any fiscal year after the date the bill became law (January 28, 2008). "Specified duty" includes active duty (excluding active duty for training) or "active service" under Title 10 USC Sections 688, 12301(a), 12301(d), 12302, 12304, 12305, and 12306 and Title 32 USC, Section 502(f), if responding to a national emergency declared by the President or supported by federal funds. Retired pay eligibility age cannot be reduced below age 50, however, eligibility for retiree health care benefits remains at age 60.

Blended Retirement System: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, Public Law 114-92, enacted 25 November 2015, created a new retirement system for the Uniformed Services. This new retirement system will apply to all service members who enter the Uniformed Services with a Date of Initial Entry into Military Service (DIEMS) of 1 January 2018 or later. Referred to as the "Blended Retirement System," this new system is a combination of a defined benefit plan, similar to predecessor plans that pay monthly retired pay, plus contributions to the Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

The Blended Retirement System (BRS) combines elements of the legacy retirement system with benefits similar to those offered in many private-sector 401(k) plans. The following are the key features of the Blended Retirement System (BRS):

  • Defined Benefit: Monthly retired pay for life after at least 20 years of service (so if you retire at 20 years of service, you will get 40% of your highest 36 months of base pay).  Retired pay will be calculated as follows: (Years of creditable service x 2.0%) x average of highest 36 months basic pay.   
  • Defined Contribution: Government automatic and matching contributions of up to 5% of basic pay to your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account
  • Continuation Pay: A one-time, midcareer bonus in exchange for an agreement to perform additional obligated service.
  • Lump Sum: An option to receive a discounted portion of your monthly retired pay as a lump sum distribution at retirement (25% or 50%).

Prior to retirement ensure DFAS Retired and Annuitant Pay has a registered email address for you in myPay, do not use your .mil account, it expires upon retirement. Use myPay to check and make changes to your pay account to include Retiree Account Statement (RAS) which includes the monthly and yearly RAS, Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC), Pay Changes to include Allotments, Beneficiaries and Direct Deposit, Tax information to include Federal Withholding, State Withholding, and End of Year Retiree Tax Statement (1099R).

Additional Information

Access the My Air Force Benefits calculator to calculate your retirement pay:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service site at:

Air Force’s Personnel Center Retirement site:

Blended Retirement System:

Access the My Air Force Benefits Blended Retirement Calculator: 

Retired Pay Chart:

Gray Area (National Guard and Reserve) Retirees Now Have a New Avenue to Stay Connected: A New Kind of myPay Account:

Document Review Date: 30 May 2024