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 Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois 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 !!!

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Garrett says

    I retired 1 Jul 2018, when will I receive my VA Disability payment? I was rated at 100% on 2 Jul 2018.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Garrett, Thank you for your question. Most veterans begin receiving regular disability compensation payments within a month or two of receiving their award letter. This is provided the VA has all the correct direct deposit information for the veteran and there are no delays. I believe the VA pays in arrears, so you would receive a payment in August for the month of July. You can verify the specific dates and details with the VA. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  8. Betty A Gilliland says

    What do I do when my monthly check does not come? It’s usually here before the end of the month, but today is the 5th and it still has not come.

    Also, the check has no information on it that tells me who to contact to have it changed to automatic deposit.

    Can you help me in both these situations?

  9. Christopher says

    I retired 30 November and I’m using my GI bill to go back to school. I am still waiting on my retirement check and GI bill BAH to kick in. When can I expect the retirement pay to start? I see an LES in MyPay for 1-31 December on the Active Duty side but nothing on the RAS side. There’s a determine hold pay on my LES for a very large amount. Does this mean they’re still determining my retirement amount? I’m starting to freak out because I have bills coming due and I’m flat broke.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Christopher, Thank you for contacting me. I recommend contacting DFAS. They can give you the exact date you should receive your retirement pay. I believe you should receive it for the January 1 pay period, but it’s possible there were issues due to the holiday, or as you mentioned, determining your retirement pay. Only DFAS can give you the exact answer and estimated time frame for receiving your paycheck.

      The GI Bill housing stipend is paid one month in arrears, and only after you provide proof of attending classes. You can work with the VA to determine requirements and estimated pay dates.

      I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  10. Lisa Ann Gissendaner says

    I have two questions:
    I am wondering what the date of my disability will hit, tomorrow, December 29, 2017 or on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 ?

    I spent 12 years on active duty, 5 years reserves status as an enlisted / SMP, and 3 years reserve status as an commissioned officer. I really need help with determination on my time served. I believe that I have 20 good years for retirement, and if not if I need to get 2 years for retirement, please lead me in the right direction .
    Thank you.

    Lisa A. (Singleterry ) Gissendaner
    Major / OD
    U.S. Army

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Maj Gissendaner,

      Thank you for contacting me. You will need to contact the VA regarding your disability rating and/or compensation. Ratings are generally effective the 1st of the month in which they are awarded. your VA award letter should have the effective date. Compensation generally starts the month afterward. The VA customer support line should be able to give you more specific information.

      Your personnel or human resources section at your unit should be able to help you read and understand your Points statement. Using this, you should be able to determine your total number of points and the number of Good Years you have. If you have 20 Good Years you should be able to apply to your branch of service’s office for a Retirement Eligibility Letter. This letter states you will be authorized to retire.

      It’s important to make sure you have this letter and you qualify for retirement before actually retiring. You don’t want to leave the service before you are retirement eligible. Additionally, it’s a good idea to speak with your personnel or human resources office to ensure you will be eligible to retire as an officer, retire at your current grade, and that no longer have any remaining service commitments. I believe you only need to serve 6 months in the rank of Major in order to retire in that rank, but please verify this, as different branches may have different requirements. There are additional service requirements in order to retire at the rank of Lt Col. I believe this is two years time in grade, but again, it’s a good idea to verify.

      I hope this is helpful. I wish you the best, and thank you for your service!

  11. Thomas Doyle says

    I am a gray area retiree, having served more than 16 years of active duty, then 5 years reserve/national guard. My question is this: Who can I contact to ensure that my NGB 23 or RPAS statement is reflecting all retirement points, whether earned on active duty or in the reserves? Thanks in advance, TP Doyle US Army (SFC retired).

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Thomas, Thank you for contacting me. You should be able to contact your HR or personnel section. Be sure to provide them with copies of all related paperwork, including your annual Points statements and DD Form 214. Be sure to have copies of all DD Form 214s if you received multiple 214s due to activation. The HR or personnel section can review your documents and tell you how many points and Good Years you have.

  12. Emily McGinty says

    I retired at 16 years, 8 mo from the Army (I did the TERA) as an O3E. They told me when they were doing my DD214 at the transitions office that I would not have my E status for retirement pay purposes and that I could only retire as an 03 because the “drop down menu doesn’t have an E so we have to put you in as an 03”. Is this true or were they supposed to make sure I retired with my E status? It’s a difference of almost $500 a month, and with making only 41% of the base pay it makes a huge difference.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Emily, Thank you for contacting me. My understanding is that your retirement should be based on the average of your highest 36 months of pay. So if you were receiving O3-E pay, I believe you should receive that for your retirement pay. I would contact DFAS immediately to see if you are receiving O3-E pay, or not. If you are not, then I would contact your Human Resources Command or Personnel center immediately to see about getting a corrected DD Form 214. I hope this is helpful, and I wish you the best!

  13. LARRY GOOLSBY says

    Today is the first day of June, it is 5pm CDT 2017. I have not received my disability check deposited in my bank. My bank says the VA has not sent them for me or other vets either what goes on?

  14. Jason says

    My times are different every month. Sometimes at 0000, sometimes at 0300 sometimes at 0600 sometimes at 0925, you get the idea, its frustrating especially since I live paycheck to paycheck

  15. Robert says

    If the 1st falls on a Monday when does VA disability payments go out? I thought they had to be received by midnight on the 1st but payments aren’t processed over the weekend? Thanks

    • Michael Clyde says

      My Direct Deposit VA Disability Pension is there on Monday morning by 0010hrs unless Monday is a holiday then it’s there the Friday before by 0010hrs. My payment for February 2016 should have hit my account on Monday February 1 around 0010hrs. It showed up Tuesday January 26. I could understand it showing up Friday the 29th, but not the 26th. It seems that most months the financial institution gets my DD a day or two early and then post it to my account on the relevant day. Also note that it takes no human intervention Sunday night/Monday morning at 0010hrs for the DD to post to an account as long as the computer program was scheduled earlier in the week to post the transaction. As always, YMMV.

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