Senators: Correct Guard Retirement Credit

NGAUS Washington Report

(Nov. 19, 2013) Another attempt to provide reserve-component members with earlier retirement pay has been introduced in the Senate, but it does not go as far as NGAUS would like.

The Reserve Retirement Credit Correction amendment was created by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. They hope to attach it to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, according to Army Times.

The amendment corrects a clumsy part of the law passed in 2008 that provides members of the National Guard and Reserves with retirement pay 90 days earlier than age 60 for every 90 cumulative days they serve in support of a contingency operation.

However, the 90 days must be served in one fiscal year to qualify, penalizing troops whose service straddles the end of one fiscal year and the start of another. Tester and Chambliss want the qualifying 90 days of service to count even if they occur in two fiscal years.

NGAUS supports this stance, but is also seeking to have qualifying service date back to Sept. 11, 2001, which would include the hard years of the war in Iraq. Current law only recognizes service back to Jan. 28, 2008, the day the law was signed. The new Senate amendment does not change this.

Army Times says 600,000 people are affected by the nearly seven-year difference in qualifying service.

“We very much appreciate and support this effort by the senators,” said Pete Duffy, the NGAUS legislative director. “It is an important step forward. But we believe recognizing service after 9/11 would be more fair to all members of the reserve component.”