How To Calculate A Reserve Retirement
In response to a question from a reader, Doug originally created and published this post in 2012. The sender was seeking a Reserve Retirement Calculator, specifically for the National Guard or Reserve. Instead of referring him to one of the many Military Retirement Calculators online, Doug dedicated the time, to write a very detailed post to educate any of our readers looking for assistance with the . As of 16 August, this post has been updated using the 2016 pay scale.
How To Calculate A Reserve Retirement
I recently answered a couple of questions on calculating the amount of a Reserve retirement for both Final Pay and High Three pay systems.
If you’re eligible for a Guard – Reserve retirement, then let me repeat the questions & answers so that you can confirm your math. If you’ve had a different experience, please post about it in the comments!
I’ve read the references and checked them with an expert, but I haven’t personally gone through the process.
Guard & Reserve Retirement Points
When you’re in the Reserves or Guard, your time toward a retirement is credited on two factors:
- the number of points you build up
- the number of “good years” you’ve completed
Each service is a little different in their point calculations, points accumulate from both active duty and the Reserve/Guard system.
Earning Annual Participation Points
15 retirement points are awarded to Guard and Reserve members for each year of service. This includes times spent as a drilling participant or while serving in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR).
A drilling participant is a member of a Reserve component who regularly serves a minimum of one weekend per month and approximately 14 days a year during annual training (AT). While their IRR counterparts, serve in an inactive status after completion of active duty or electing to transfer into the component.
Earning Points For Service
You accumulate points for drill weekends, active duty periods, and under some special circumstances:
- completion of online or correspondence courses
- serving on funeral honors detail
- providing support to recruiting personnel
Each day of active duty counts as one point. Each drill counts as one point (a typical weekend has four drills), as do the days of active duty in the Reserve/Guard for training or mobilizations.
You’re also limited by the number of points you can get in a category — you can’t do 52 drill weekends in one year and get points for every one.
Of course, you can certainly be mobilized during a leap year and receive 366 points of active duty.
Here’s a minimum breakdown of points earned during a normal year:
- Annual Participation – 15
- Monthly Drills – 48 (12 months x 4 drills)
- Annual Training – 14
- Total points +/- 77
Note: It’s possible to get points for other purposes, but they’re limited.
(It’s also possible for officers commissioned from NROTC to receive points for the days they were on active duty for midshipman summer training, but they’ll need to supply the documentation.)Update: this niche benefit has been revoked– see the September 2017 comment and its link at the end of this post.
The Four Hour Rule
During Inactive Duty Training (IDT), one point will be awarded for each 4-hour period of IDT performed.
Maximum of two points per calendar day applies to IDT Duty. Duty must be 8 hours in duration to receive two points per day.
Meetings (Seminars, Symposia, Professional Development). Per DoD Instruction 1215.07, members will only be allowed one point per day. Each training periods must be a minimum of 4 hours in length.
Per DoDI Instruction 1215.07, the Funeral Honors requires a minimum of two hours duty. Members receive one point for each day and the duty must be a minimum 2 hours, including travel.