Can you receive a partial military pension?
The military retirement benefits is one of the best retirement plans around – with a pension starting after serving 20 years, and extremely low cast medical benefits for life. These benefits are well deserved and the least we can do to thank our veterans for their years of dedication and service. Though a military retirement may or may not pay enough to live on without taking another job, it is easy to value a military pension at over one million dollars over the average duration of a retirement.
In addition to the honor of serving our country, these generous military retirement benefits entice many military members to forgo possible higher pay in the civilian world and remain in military service long enough to earn a military retirement.
But what happens if you don’t stick around long enough to earn the standard retirement? can you earn a partial military retirement?
Can I Get Partial Military Retirement Pay?
I received a reader question this week:
Let’s say an Individual put in 15 years active duty, then separated from the Army at his own request with a less than Honorable Discharge. What would his entitlements be for the time he served in on Active Duty? Is he entitled to Partial Retirement Pay? Or does he have to put in the 20 years to receive retirement pay?
Veteran, US Army
Hello A.T. – Thanks for your service to our country.
In most cases one needs to serve 20 years to qualify for military retirement pay and benefits, except in some cases such as disability. If you are looking to get paid, here are your options:
Join the Guard or Reserves. Your 15 years will count toward retirement through the Guard or Reserves. You would then need to complete 5 more years of service before you would be eligible for retirement pay. Keep in mind that you will not be eligible to receive retirement pay until age 60. Here is more information about the Army Reserves.
File a disability claim. Assuming you have a qualifying disability and it gets approved, you may receive a monthly disability compensation check and possibly health care benefits as a result of your disability. Keep in mind you need to file your claim shortly after leaving military service and you will need your medical records. I highly recommend visiting your local VA representative for assistance with completing the paperwork for your claim. Here are the current disability rates. The rates receive an annual increase for cost of living.
Search GI Bill Schools: You can use this GI Bill School search tool to help find available programs where you can use your GI Bill.