The National Guard serves their country and their state when they are active. Their primary duties are at home on US soil, but they can be called out at any time to do what is necessary. National Guard soldiers may be fighting wildfires, cleaning up oil spills or helping flood victims at home, but they still receive the benefits of a National Guard retirement when they leave. National Guard retirees can go on to open their own business, go back to school or embark on a new career while still receiving their military retirement benefits.
If you are interested in joining the National Guard, fill out this form to find out more.
Eligibility for National Guard Retirement Benefits
- National Guard member must be at least 60 years of age or older at retirement
- Completed at least 20 years of qualifying service
Members who leave the National Guard prior to the qualified age or service requirements will only be credited basic pay up until the time they departed.
Qualified Retirement is Based on a Points System, not Annual Salary
Retirement pay for the National Guard is different than that of other military service members. Military service members receive retirement benefits based on their average base pay prior to retirement. The National Guard’s retirement is determined by a points system rather than National Guard pay. The number of points determines the monthly benefit amount at retirement.
Retirement points are calculated each year of qualified service. A qualified year of service results in 50 retirement points. Retirement points are earned on a daily basis and start to accumulate the first date of enlistment until the following year. One point is earned per each day of duty. If the National Guard member doesn’t have a break in service, he or she can ultimately earn 365 points a year for retirement. National Guard members earn 2 types of points:
- Inactive duty points– National Guard members earn inactive duty points during training while on inactive duty.
- Active duty points– Points earned by members when on active duty or completing training during active duty.
When calculating points for retirement, members are only allowed to use 60 inactive duty points per year if their service dates end prior to September 3rd, 1996. If a member’s years of service end after September 3rd, 1996, they can use up to 75 inactive duty points when calculating retirement.
Qualifying Year of Service
If you enlist in the National Guard on October 2nd, 1990 the retirement year beginning (RYB) is October 2nd and the retirement year end (RYE) is October 1st. During this time is when retirement points are earned. On the anniversary of enlistment, October 1st, the member begins a new qualifying year of service. The member must earn the 50 points during the specific time frame to be eligible for retire points for that year of service.
How National Guard Members Can Apply for Retirement Benefits
Members need to submit a pay certificate packet with a summary of the points they have earned, before they can start to receive their retirement benefits. To calculate the retired pay a member will receive, they take the total number of credible retirement points and divide it by 360. This calculation will provide the member with the total number of eligible years.
The National Guard provides members with a great opportunity to earn money during service and for many years to come after they have served.
Looking to get started in the National Guard? Fill out this form to find out more.