Reducing the Age to Collect Retirement Pay for Members of the Reserve Component

  • Published
  • By NGAUS
Over a half century ago Congress established the age of 60 for retired members of the National Guard to become eligible for retirement pay. In contrast, members of the Active Component (AC) are able to qualify for retirement pay as early as age 37! This inequity persists, but remains one of the foremost issues of concern and fairness to our members.

Congress took a much needed first step to repair this broken system with passage of the FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorized a reduction in the eligibility age to collect retirement benefits by three months for every aggregate 90 days served in combat or response to Presidential emergencies after January 28, 2008. Unfortunately, the service of thousands of National Guard members who have answered the call following 9/11/2001 but prior to January 28, 2008 have been excluded despite the sacrifices they may have made or the unintended impact on families and their civilian employment. NGAUS strongly supports legislation to make the above retirement provisions retroactive to 9/11/2001.

Our primary goal is for Congress to adopt legislation that would reduce the eligibility age to draw retirement pay by one year for every two years of service beyond 20 years. More and more members of the Guard are opting to retire at the 20 year point. We have an opportunity to retain highly trained soldiers and airmen who are willing to continue to serve. The 2 for 1 retirement legislation would provide an across-the-board incentive to encourage service beyond 20 years.

NGAUS actively promotes policy changes that will improve readiness and quality-of-life for our members. As Congress considers legislative alternatives for Reserve Component (RC) retirement this session to find a fair and cost-effective solution, they need your input. Begin now to educate your representatives. There is momentum in Congress for legislation on this issue, and your voice will make a difference! Any method of contact works; call, fax, make a personal visit or use the "Write to Congress" feature on our web site


By using the "Write to Congress" feature on the NGAUS Web site at, you can immediately e-mail your Senators or Representative. A sample letter is included in our "Write to Congress" feature. You can e-mail the pre-written message or edit the sample letter as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. 

Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to "Write to Congress" as well. For more in-depth information and background visit our web site at: Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Pete Duffy, Deputy Legislative Director and NGAUS Joint Programs Manager at 202-454-5307 or via email: