Posted on Jun 25, 2019
SPC Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic
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I will have 3 1/2 years in active duty and want to switch to reserve after my ets date. how many years will i need to retire in the reserves if I just do the 20 years and get retirement at 60 years old
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CAPT Kevin B.
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Make sure you nail down the good year thing. Your year starts the day after you ETS. Back in my day, you either had a good year towards retirement or not. There wasn't such a thing as a 1/2 good year. So in my case I had 10.5 years total AD. I had to do 10 full good years to qualify for retirement. Wound up doing 30 total. Make sure you're doing a good TSP thing if you want more real money.
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SGT Javier Silva
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Edited 3 y ago
SPC (Join to see) A year in the Reserves is based on points, and it is not reflected the same way as active duty. You could have 4 years in the Reserve and still need to do 18 years to retire on Active Duty. It boils down to having a good year.

A year in the Reserves consists of the following:
1. Inactive Drill Training (IDT) or Multiple Unit Training Assembly (MUTA) or Drill (these are all the same). Attending drill one weekend a month. Typically arrive Friday, drill Saturday and Sunday, leave Sunday night. Some months will include Th-Su. (48 points) one point per drill - four drills per weekend.
2. Annual Training (AT). Attend Annual Training, at station or whenever the orders are to, e.g. Ft. McCoy, Ft. Hunter-Liggett. (15 points)
3. Annual Participation. That's right for every year your in, the Army will give you points. (15 points)

You can only earn up to 365 (366 in a leap year) points towards retirement. The maximum points is equal to having been on active duty every day for a year. You can earn extra points throughout the year by completing extra correspondence courses. You need at least 50 points for the Army to consider it a good year. So, depending on what you do, retirement can change. You can do the 16.5 years and get a 20-year letter but that wouldn't entitle you to a paycheck sooner or higher.
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SFC Marc Wagner
SFC Marc Wagner
3 y
Thank you for that SGT Javier Silva do you also know the retirement age reduction I was referring to in my sub-comment above?
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SGT Javier Silva
SGT Javier Silva
3 y
SFC Marc Wagner - There is; however, it is for very specific situations. Basically, if you were active duty prior to NG/R, that AD time would not count toward early retirement. The AD time must be done while in the NG/R including but may be limited to deployments in support of overseas operations, mobilizations for natural emergencies which are authorized by the governor and paid for by federal funds, and other active duty service periods including training and attending military schools.

What that AD time does do is give a higher retirement dollar compared to someone with the same number of years and rank, who only did NG/R time.

Edit: The number of days on AD while NG/R determine how early you can retire. Even then, the early retirement only applies to pay, not benefits.

Edit: Only applies to AD time served after 30 September 2014, and can cross multi-years. This is all a part of the 2015 NDAA.
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SFC Marc Wagner
SFC Marc Wagner
3 y
SGT Javier Silva Thank you for that clarification.
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SGT Team Leader
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I am not an expert when it comes to understanding the complete in and outs of army retirement. It sounds like you are just asking how many years would you have to do in the reserves to make 20 years? Simple answer, If you are active duty for 4 years you would need that additional 16 years reserve. Unless, I am completely misreading your post.
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SFC Marc Wagner
SFC Marc Wagner
3 y
Generally speaking you're right. However, there is a specific piece about the Reserves/National guard that factors in when you can actually collect retirement based on how much active duty time has been served. I believe in this case, he could collect a couple years earlier than 60. But for general retirement for R/NG, they have a whole point system set up and what not, you're generally correct.
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SGT Team Leader
SGT (Join to see)
3 y
SFC Marc Wagner yes, they factor in active duty time/deployment time. I wasn’t 100% sure on what he was asking. I appreciate you clearing up and adding to what I said.
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SFC Marc Wagner
SFC Marc Wagner
3 y
SGT (Join to see) We are in the same boat on that one lol. Just didn't want to "piggy back" like an LT at safety brief time
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