2021 Retired Military Pay Dates and Retirement Account Statements

Military retirees and annuitants get paid on the first day of the month, unless it falls on a weekend or holiday. If so, retirees are paid on the preceding business day and annuitants are paid on the following business day.
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Retired Military Pay Dates - When do military retirees get paid?

As we wrote in our military pay date schedule, the first step in creating a budget is knowing how much you will be paid, and when. The good news is that retired military pay dates are easy to remember: you usually receive your pay on the first of the month. The only exception is when the first of the month falls on a weekend or holiday. If that happens, then you would receive your pay on the preceding business day.

Military annuitant paydays are similar to retiree paydays. Military annuitants, surviving spouses, or family members, receive their payment on the first of each month. However, if the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday, they will receive their payment after the weekend or holiday, not before like retired military members.

2021 Military Retiree & Annuitant Pay Dates

Here are the military retiree pay dates for 2021. You will need to check MyPay for your Retiree Account Statement (RAS).

Entitlement MonthRetired Pay DateAnnuitant Pay Date
December 2020December 31, 2020January 4, 2021
January 2021February 1, 2021February 1, 2021
February 2021March 1, 2021March 1, 2021
March 2021April 1, 2021April 1, 2021
April 2021April 30, 2021May 3, 2021
May 2021June 1, 2021June 1, 2021
June 2021July 1, 2021July 1, 2021
July 2021July 30, 2021August 2, 2021
August 2021September 1, 2021September 1, 2021
September 2021October 1, 2021October 1, 2021
October 2021November 1, 2021November 1, 2021
November 2021December 1, 2021December 1, 2021
December 2021December 30, 2021January 3, 2022

The above military pay dates are applicable to all branches of the military, including the Air Force, Air Force Reserves, Air National Guard, Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserves, Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserves, Navy, Navy Reserves, Space Force, Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserves, and the Public Health Service.

When Will I Receive My Military Retirement Paycheck?

Military paychecks are generally available on the payment date. However, payments may hit your bank up to a day early, or sometimes in the afternoon or evening of the pay date.

Some Military Banks offer military deposits a day or two earlier than the actual pay date. This is common with Navy Federal Credit Union (if you use the Active Duty Checking Account) and USAA Federal Savings Bank, among others. Here is the list with the NFCU pay days. Here are the dates military paychecks are available through USAA.

Top Military Banks: Here is our list of the top military banks and credit unions. You may consider choosing to bank with one of these financial institutions if receiving your pay earlier is important to you.

Understanding Your Retired Military Pay

Military retirement pay is handled by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, or DFAS. They handle all record-keeping, tracking, payments, etc. Retirees can track their pay on MyPay.

The best way to understand your retirement pay is to log on to your MyPay account and view your Retiree Account Statement (RAS), which is a two-page document issued by DFAS that summarizes your pay, benefits, and any deductions, including allotments.

MyPay Retiree Account Statement

Military retirees receive a Retiree Account Statement each month, along with an annual RAS in December. MyPay makes the previous 12 RAS statements available to you. If you want to keep a long-term record, it would be a good idea to download the RAS in PDF form.

You should receive an email each month from MyPay informing you when your RAS is available (provided you have provided your email to MyPay and are opted-in to this service).

Other ways to use MyPay: In addition to tracking and downloading your Retirement Account Statements, you can also use MyPay to download your tax statements, change any allotments you might have, change your tax withholding, and change your banking information.

It’s also important to note that your retirement pay is made in arrears, meaning you receive pay for the previous month, just like military pay and most other types of pay.

How Does Your Military Pay Change in Retirement?

Your military retirement pay is based only on your base pay, and your time in service. You will no longer have your BAH, BAS, or other benefits, such as COLA, incentive pay, and bonuses. You also have to take into consideration any withholdings, such as taxes, insurance, and any allotments.

The good news is that many states do not tax military retirement pay. So you may see an unexpected boost.

Here are some additional withholdings you may see, depending on your situation:

You can find a full analysis of how your military pay changes when you retire. This is a great resource for planning purposes.

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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of The Military Wallet. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. Michael E. Maxfield, LTC, USAR (Ret.) says


    What is the actual statute of limitation for filing for military retirement? I have seen a document that mentions 7 years from the date you reach age 60 and I have been told by Army HRC that backpay will only go back 6 years and not 7 years from the date you reach age 60. I had significant problems trying to find out how to file for my retirement and got the documentation needed into the mail system (both hardcopy and softcopy) on my 67th birthday (exactly 7 years from the date I reached age 60). Every person I talked to at Fort Knox (Army HRC) and the RSO at Fort Sam Houston agreed on those time limits, but I thought I would seek out an opinion from a knowledgeable 3rd party like yourself. Would appreciate any feedback you can send me…..Thank You !!!

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