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Reserve Retirement

Definition Reserve Retirement refers to the retirement benefits program for eligible members of the U.S. Reserve Components, which includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, and National Guard. Members qualify for these benefits by accumulating qualifying years of service, with each year requiring at least 50 retirement […]


Reserve Retirement refers to the retirement benefits program for eligible members of the U.S. Reserve Components, which includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, and National Guard. Members qualify for these benefits by accumulating qualifying years of service, with each year requiring at least 50 retirement points. Upon reaching age 60 and satisfying eligibility requirements, these reservists will begin receiving retirement pay based on their total points and years of service.

Key Takeaways

  1. Reserve Retirement refers to the retirement benefits provided to eligible servicemembers who have served in the Reserve or National Guard components of the United States military.
  2. Eligibility for Reserve Retirement requires fulfilling certain requirements, including attaining 20 qualifying years of service, also called “good years,” and reaching the minimum retirement age of 60 (or earlier in some cases).
  3. Retirement pay varies based on the member’s rank and number of years of service, while concurrent receipt of other benefits, healthcare options, and exchanges access are some additional perks offered to Reserve retirees.


The term Reserve Retirement is important in the context of VA benefits because it refers to a crucial financial safety net and support system designed for eligible retired members of the Reserve Component (National Guard and Reserve) who have fulfilled specific service requirements.

These requirements generally consist of serving a minimum of 20 years or completing a certain number of points earned through active participation in service.

Reserve Retirement benefits not only provide a monetary pension based on the retiree’s rank and years of service but also offer access to medical resources, survivor benefits, and other supportive services, substantially contributing to a better quality of life and financial stability for veterans and their families after they transition from military to civilian life.


The Reserve Retirement benefit serves as an essential tool in building stability and financial security for the brave men and women who serve in the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces. Given the unique challenges faced by these service members who have spent years balancing military service with their civilian careers and family life, Reserve Retirement aims to provide them with a stable income and support after their service has concluded.

This well-deserved compensation is a testament to the nation’s commitment to honor the sacrifice and dedication of reserve component service members and serves to recognize their priceless contributions in protecting the freedom and security of the United States. Reserve Retirement benefit is used to reinforce America’s military readiness by providing a strong incentive for the service members to continue serving in the reserves.

It promotes retention and ensures a continuous supply of experienced and highly-trained personnel to reinforce the nation’s military forces when needed. By offering retirement benefits to reservists and National Guard members, the government enhances the overall value proposition of reserve service, ensuring a viable, experienced, and increasingly capable reserve component that can seamlessly integrate with the active-duty military in times of need.

Ultimately, the Reserve Retirement serves as a vital tool in the continued success and strength of the nation’s military force structure and acknowledges the unwavering commitment of reserve component service members to the security and prosperity of the United States.

Examples of Reserve Retirement

Reserve Retirement refers to the retirement benefits that military reservists receive upon completing 20 or more qualifying years of service. Here are three real-world examples of situations involving Reserve Retirement:

Example 1: John, a military reservist, served in the Army Reserve for 22 years before deciding to retire. During his service, he participated in training, deployments, and fulfilled his monthly and annual commitments, earning qualifying retirement points. Upon retiring, John is eligible to receive a monthly Reserve Retirement pension when he reaches the age of 60, as well as healthcare benefits for him and his family through TRICARE. Additionally, he can access certain military benefits such as commissary and exchange privileges.

Example 2: Susan is a member of the Air Force Reserve and has completed 15 years of service. To prepare for her future Reserve Retirement, she keeps track of her retirement points earned through participating in scheduled drills, annual training, correspondence courses, and other activities. Susan faithfully serves for another seven years, reaching 22 years of service, allowing her to retire with 20 qualifying years. Like John, she will access her Reserve Retirement pension at age 60, as well as other benefits such as healthcare and base access privileges.

Example 3: Mike served in both the active-duty military and the Navy Reserve during his career. He spent ten years on active duty before transitioning to the Navy Reserve, where he completed an additional 12 years of service. Mike’s total qualifying years for retirement is based on the combination of his active duty time and reserve service. When he reaches the age of 60, he becomes eligible for Reserve Retirement benefits, which take into account both his active duty and reserve service time, as well as eligibility for TRICARE and additional benefits.

Reserve Retirement Benefits FAQ

1. What is Reserve Retirement?

Reserve Retirement is a military retirement program for service members who have served at least 20 qualifying years in the National Guard or Reserve but have not met the active duty service requirements for a regular retirement.

2. How is Reserve Retirement calculated?

The Reserve Retirement calculation is based on a point system, where service members earn points for participating in drills, training, and active duty service. The total accumulated points are then used to calculate the member’s retired pay upon reaching retirement age, usually 60.

3. When am I eligible to receive my Reserve Retirement benefits?

Typically, service members are eligible to receive their Reserve Retirement benefits at age 60 or after completing 20 qualifying years of service. In some cases, this age requirement may be reduced for those with qualifying active duty service.

4. Can I receive Reserve Retirement benefits and other military retirement benefits simultaneously?

No, service members cannot receive both Reserve Retirement benefits and other military retirement benefits (e.g., a regular or active-duty retirement) simultaneously. However, they can choose the retirement program that best suits their needs and preferences.

5. Is my Reserve Retirement pay affected by my civilian employment?

No, your Reserve Retirement pay is not affected by your civilian employment or income. Your retirement pay is based solely on your military service and accumulated points.

6. Is my spouse eligible for survivor benefits?

Yes, your spouse may be eligible for survivor benefits through the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) if you elect to participate in the program. The SBP provides a monthly income to eligible surviving spouses, ensuring they have financial support after the service member’s death.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Eligibility for Reserve Retirement
  • Reserve Retirement Points
  • Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)
  • Completed years of qualifying service
  • Reserve Retirement Pay Calculator

Sources for More Information

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