Four retired men pose for a picture on a golf course Four retired men pose for a picture on a golf course

Retirement & Pension Plans

Army retirement benefits help set you up for a strong financial future, no matter how long you plan to serve.

Build the Future You Want

You're automatically enrolled in the Blended Retirement System (BRS) when you join, which offers a 401(k)-type retirement savings account (with matching) and a pension after 20 years of service.

Two smiling women sitting at a desk in an office Two smiling women sitting at a desk in an office

The option to Save for Retirement 
with Every Paycheck

You can choose to enroll in the Thrift Savings Plan, similar to a 401(k) plan, which automatically puts a percentage of every paycheck into your retirement account. Then, up to 5% of your contributions are matched by the government. These ongoing deposits help you build money over time with little effort or thought.

  • 3% Automatic Contribution: From every paycheck
  • 5% Government Match: Of the funds you contribute
  • Two Years to Fully Vest: So you can take all the money the government contributed into your retirement fund when you leave the Army

Soldiers saluting the US flag Soldiers saluting the US flag

Get Paid Throughout Retirement with a Pension Plan

A pension plan pays you a steady paycheck for the rest of your life, even after you retire from the Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard.

A male decorated Officer receiving a medal A male decorated Officer receiving a medal

Get Rewarded For Your Loyalty

You can earn a one-time cash bonus at your mid-career mark, called the Continuation Bonus, if you extend your contract after eight years of service and commit to an additional service obligation with your composition (Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard).

The bonus is part of the Blended Retirement System (BRS), which you're automatically enrolled in when you join. You'll be able to decide when you want to claim the Continuation Bonus money, although you must take it before you hit 12 years of service.

Common Questions

How long do I have to serve in the Army to get a pension?

You must serve for at least 20 years to qualify for Army pension benefits. After 20 years, active-duty Soldiers can start pension pay at any age they chose. Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers can start pension pay after turning 60 years old.

How much will my Army pension be?

The amount of your pension paycheck varies based on when you join the Army. Active-duty, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard pensions are all calculated in the same way, regardless of which pension plan you choose.

You (and anyone who joined after 1986) will have a choice between two pension plans. One plan is called the High-36 Plan, which takes 50% of your average highest basic pay earned over 36 months, plus an additional 2.5% for each additional year served. The other plan to choose from is the Military Retirement Reform Act (MRRA), commonly known as REDUX.

Under the REDUX plan, you can receive a $30,000 Career Status Bonus (CSB) after 15 years of service if you agree to complete 20 years of service. In addition to the bonus, you’ll receive 40% of your average highest basic pay earned over 36 months, plus an additional 3.5% for each additional year served.

What disqualifies my Army pension?

Your pension will be terminated if you are incarcerated for more than two months for a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor. However, payments may resume after leaving prison if you meet the Veterans Affairs (VA) eligibility requirements.

What is Disability Retirement Pay?

Disability Retirement Pay is a monthly payment given to veterans who meet the disability requirements due to events that occurred during service, and to veterans whose service made an existing condition worse. If you have a condition like PTSD or other chronic illnesses and injuries, you may qualify for these disability benefits. The pay is offered through Veterans Affairs (VA) and the amount is based on your disability rating with the VA. You can't combine disability pay with a VA pension, but you'll be paid whichever is the higher amount.

Talk to a Recruiter

Don't worry, there's no obligation if you reach out.

Thanks for reaching out,

Here's What Happens Next

  1. You'll receive an email confirming your request

  2. We'll provide additional information about next steps

  3. You'll work with us to decide whether the Army is right for you

Questions you may have right now

Who will reach out to me?

One of our recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

Who will reach out to me?

One of our ROTC recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

What will you ask me?

Our conversation will likely begin with some basic qualifying questions, like your age and education level. From there, the conversation will be about getting to know you and your goals for the future. Expect us to ask about your interests and skills so we can suggest Army jobs that might interest you.

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How can the Army help me pay for college?

Do I have to go to Basic Training?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How can the Army help me pay for college?

What is the time commitment for part-time service?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Can the Army help me pay for medical school?

Do I have to go to Basic Training?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

How do I apply for ROTC scholarships?

How do I join ROTC at the college I want to attend?

Will I be expected to join if I talk to someone?

No. Our goal is to answer your questions and help you decide if the Army is a good option for you. We understand you may not be ready to join yet, or that we may not be the right fit, and that's fine. There's no obligation for talking to us.

Thanks for reaching out,

Here's What Happens Next

  1. You'll receive an email confirming your request

  2. We'll provide additional information about next steps

  3. You'll work with us to decide whether the Army is right for you

Questions you may have right now

Who will reach out to me?

One of our recruiters will either call or email you to set up time to talk.

What will you ask me?

Our conversation will likely begin with some basic qualifying questions, like your age and education level. From there, the conversation will be about getting to know you and your goals for the future. Expect us to ask about your interests and skills so we can suggest Army jobs that might interest you.

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Do I qualify to join the Army?

Can I join as an Officer?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Do I qualify to join the Army?

Can I join as an Officer?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

What type of health care jobs are available in the Army?

Can the Army help me pay for medical school?

How can I prepare for the conversation?

While we'll ask you questions, this is your opportunity to ask some of your own. Here are a couple to get you started:

Can I join ROTC at my age

Can I join as an Officer?

Will I be expected to join if I talk to someone?

No. Our goal is to answer your questions and help you decide if the Army is a good option for you. We understand you may not be ready to join yet, or that we may not be the right fit, and that's fine. There's no obligation for talking to us.

Thanks for reaching out, .

We admire you for considering such a big career decision at your age. Unfortunately, we're unable to directly reach out to you until you are at least sixteen years old and a junior in high school. However, the following ROTC info is something that may interest you now.

Questions you may have right now

How old do I have to be to serve in the Army full-time?

To become an enlisted Soldier, you must be 17 years old. To become an Army Officer, you must be at least 18 years old and have a college degree obtained either through ROTC, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, or from another college or university program. Learn more about Army Eligibility Requirements and how to receive Officer training while in college.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you

How do I apply for ROTC Scholarships?

Army ROTC has several scholarships available for college-bound high school students. Review your options at ROTC Scholarships, or immediately apply by creating an account at my.goarmy.com to get started.

How old do I have to be to serve in the Army part-time?

To become an enlisted Soldier, you must be 17 years old. To become an Army Officer, you must be at least 18 years old and have a college degree obtained either through ROTC, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, or from another college or university program. Learn more about Army Eligibility Requirements and how to receive Officer training while in college.

What are the ways to serve part-time?

You can serve part-time as a Soldier in the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard. By serving part-time, you are able to continue your college education or work a civilian job, while earning an extra paycheck and maintaining many of the benefits of military service.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you.

How do I become a health care provider in the Army?

You can serve part-time or full-time as you train in our health care program. Upon graduation of the program, you will enter the Army health care team as a Commissioned Officer.

What types of medical careers are available in the Army?

There are numerous health care careers available through the Army Medical Education Deparment (AMEDD), including physicians, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, and many more. View your career options.

How can the Army help me pay for college?

There are a variety of options available to help you pursue education with flexibility, such as ROTC programs, the GI Bill, and other programs that help pay for college tuition, trade school, technical school, or trainings. View all of the Education Benefits available to you.

What are the benefits of joining ROTC?

ROTC makes it possible to achieve your ambitions. Become a leader and serve your country in one of the nation's top leadership training programs. You can do this while maintaining your college curriculum and earning up to 100% tuition coverage. Upon graduation, you're guaranteed a career as an Army Officer.

How do I prepare to join ROTC?

When you're at least 16 years old and at least a high school junior, you can reach out to us, or even talk to your high school counselor. Together, we'll talk options and decide if ROTC is the right path for you.

Will I become an Officer if I complete ROTC?

Yes. After graduation, you are commissioned as a highly respected second lieutenant in the Army, entrusted with leading other Soldiers.

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