Your long and honorable military service has earned you many rewards. Retired pay and benefits are provided to secure your future and that of your family. However, retirement is also a major change in your life. Careful planning is needed to ensure that your retirement from federal service goes smoothly. Effective planning requires information. The Army's Retirement Services website at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/rso/mission.asp can provide you with current guidance and information, and your ACAP Center can help you find local resources. The Retirement Services Office on your installation, though, will be your primary source of assistance and guidance.
Financial planning is a vital part of your transition. Knowing how much income
you will have and how to budget it is essential to your future success. When
you retire, your retirement pay will be determined by your grade, years of service
and the laws governing the calculation of retirement annuities. Your actual retirement
check will be reduced to cover tax deductions, allotments and Survivor Benefit
Program costs, if you and your spouse choose to enroll.
The Department of Defense has activated a website with comprehensive military
pay and benefit information and a retirement pay calculator. The site also
provides information about ancillary benefits derived from military service,
including VA disability compensation and Social Security. You can access the
site at http://www.defenselink.mil/militarypay/.
If you entered service after July 31, 1986, you will be given a choice
of retirement plans at your 15th year of service. The Military Pay and Benefits
website helps service members make the bonus/retirement system choice between
the High-3 system and the CSB/REDUX option. If you entered active duty after
October 1980, this website can help you estimate your monthly pre-deduction
retirement income. You can find the retirement pay calculators at http://www.defenselink.mil/militarypay/retirement/calc/index.html.
Whether you are going to retire soon or are just curious about retirement
pay, you should visit the DFAS website at http://www.dfas.mil/ for
The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)
Before retiring, you will be required to make a decision concerning SBP coverage
for your spouse or other family members. SBP is designed to provide ongoing income
for your spouse and minor children if you die before them. Videos on pre-retirement
planning and the Survivor Benefit Plan are available through your installation
Retirement Services Office.
Retiree Health Care
Retirees continue to be eligible for VA medical care on
a space available basis. VA Facilities. Retirees continue to be eligible for
VA medical care on a space available basis. However, there are many limitations
and eligibility requirements. You should not rely on VA medical care as your
only source of health care. More information about VA medical care can be found
at the VA website at http://www1.va.gov/health/index.asp.
Retirees and their families remain eligible to use civilian health
care facilities under TRICARE until age 65. When you reach age 65, you become
eligible for Medicare and TRICARE for Life if you are enrolled in Medicare
Part B. For information on TRICARE, contact the Health Benefits Advisor at
your nearest military treatment facility or view the TRICARE on-line pamphlet
at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/retiree. For information on TRICARE for
Life visit http://www.tricare.osd.mil/.
Even though you are covered by TRICARE, a supplemental
insurance policy is a good idea for retirees. This is because TRICARE does
not cover all health costs, TRICARE has a yearly deductible and yearly cap
on expenses that are not covered. Check with your Health Benefits Advisor concerning
your particular circumstances.
Retiree Identification Card
One of the most popular benefits of retirement from military service is the retiree
identification card that allows retirees to continue their commissary and exchange
privileges without restriction. Your servicing ID Card facility will issue the
retiree ID card.
Retirees may obtain legal assistance on most personal legal matters, such as
wills, powers-of-attorney, filing federal and state income taxes and reviewing
contracts. Priority is given to active duty personnel. Retirees living overseas
may have restrictions on privileges based upon Status of Forces Agreements.
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