2021 Retired Military Pay Dates and Retirement Account Statements

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Retired Military Pay Dates - When do military retirees get paid?
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.

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.

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  1. CJ Garcia says

    I turned 60 in July 2019, and STIL have not received a retirement check. My “in-a-rears” check had and account number error and was returned and the error was corrected in Dec (still nothing), the Dec retirement check supposedly missed the cut off prior to the error being corrected and the direct deposit was returned to DFAS. So, they took it upon themselves to send a HARD COPY check to MY BANK, so they say, I called my bank they investigated, and no such check has been received. All I get is the run around from DFAS, anyone else had issues similar?

  2. DeWayne says

    Hello, I finished up my military career sooner than I thought, was forced to take a medical discharge and did not have a choice also did not go through the med board process as well. This is my question. How is it that command can make this type of decision and not only force someone out with a up coming promotion but also make a 10% medical decision on top of that. I do not understand this especially when I went through some heavy surgeries before and after my 10% med discharge. Please give advice it has been over 20 years and I still have not been able to get any help towards this matter.

  3. Clarice Brown says

    Since I have been retired from the Reserves about 15 years I would like to know if I can go to the nearest base or VA facility and get help filling out paperwork when I turned 60 due to things change and some info you might not remember or still have paperwork for.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Clarice, as a retired member of the Reserves, you still have base access. So you should be able to contact your local base personnel or human resources office to help you with the paperwork. It would be a good idea to set an appointment to ensure they will have someone on staff who knows how to assist you with the paperwork, and so you can avoid unnecessary wait times. Because this is a military retirement program, I’m not sure the VA will have anyone on staff who will be able to assist you with the paperwork. Best wishes!

  4. SJ says

    Like the commenter above, I’ve been retired from AD for almost 3 months and still haven’t received my last paycheck while on AD or a cent of retirement money. I’d say that it’s unbelievable, but as ******* up as the USAF is, it’s sadly not.

  5. Charles Rossi says

    I retired in May 2016 and turned 60 in August 2018. I’ve completed all the paperwork, checked with DFAS if they have my retirement orders, and each month past August, I have not received my retirement pay. Each month I sit on hold for 60-90 minutes only to be told that they are backlogged on new accounts and I will get the pay the following month. Another month goes by, and same thing. Here it is January 2019, a new year, and I still have no retirement pay. The system is broken and should be fixed. Having almost 24 years in the military and to be waiting is unacceptable.

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