My Army Benefits: Ask Joe: Your Benefits Guru

Dear Joe,

I’m going to go to the Retired Reserve under the high three pay system with over two years’ time in grade as a major. So at what rank will I be paid, and how do they compute it? Will it be the average of two years as a major and one year as a captain?

A Nats Fan in Chillicothe


Dear Fan,

For an active duty Soldier retired pay is pro-rated to show the proportion held at each rank in the last three years (i.e., two years as a major, one as a captain). For Reserve Component Soldiers, retired pay is calculated at the highest qualified rank held (see the letter above for TIG requirements) under either the final pay plan, for those who came in before 8 September 1980, or the high three pay plan, for all others. In other words, if you were a major for 7 months before your separation, your high three calculation will be done at the rank of major.

Regardless of the pay system used, the calculation for Reserve Component Soldiers’ retired pay, as used by the folks at DFAS and by the MyArmyBenefits Retirement Calculator, is “ …your final points divided by 360 which yields the Active Duty Year Equivalent, which is then multiplied by 2 ½% which yields a number (multiplier) that will then be used to multiply the monthly base pay for the grade successfully attained (as determined by HRC) to arrive at the gross monthly retired pay.”

Go Nats!