How to Calculate National Guard Retirement

Members of the National Guard who are credited with at least 20 years of service are entitled to retirement pay. The service doesn't have to be continuous as long as the cumulative total reaches the 20-year minimum. Members can start collecting National Guard retirement at age 60 even if they are discharged at an earlier age.

How It Works

Guard retirement pay is figured using the person's basic pay rate. Basic pay is the monthly salary she would get if she were serving on active duty. Basic pay depends on rank and years of service. For retirement purposes, basic pay is converted to a basis figure.

  • When a service member initially entered military service on or before September 8, 1980, retirement basis is the final basic pay rate.
  • For members who entered service at a later date, retirement basis is the average of the 36 months with the highest basic pay.

For example, if someone retires with the rank of major after 20 years and the final basic pay rate applies, the basis equals $7,430.10 per month.

National Guard Retirement Points

Because National Guard service is part-time, members are credited with time served using a point system. Points are earned for several reasons:

  • One point for each day of actual service
  • 15 points for each year of service
  • Additional points for training and educational activities.

Points affect National Guard retirement in two ways:

  • A member must earn 50 points in a year for that year to count towards the 20 year minimum qualifying time.
  • Total points are divided by 360 to calculate the years of service to figure the amount of retirement pay.

For example, someone who earns 50 points or more for 20 years is eligible to receive retirement pay. Suppose the total points earned over the 20-year period comes to 1,620. Divide by 360 to compute the years of service. In this case, 1,620 points divided by 360 equals 4.5 years. For retirement pay purposes, add any active duty years of service.

Figuring Monthly Retirement Pay

The formula to calculate monthly National Guard retirement pay is the basis times a multiplier. The multiplier equals years of service times 2.5 percent. Suppose a person retires with the rank of major after 20 years. He has enough points to be credited with 4.5 years, which you multiply by 2.5 percent for a multiplier of 11.25 percent. . You have:

$7,430.10 basic pay times 11.25 percent = $835.89 monthly retirement pay.