Soldiers in the National Guard who chose the new Blended Retirement System and are eligible for continuation pay could see thousands of dollars more cash this year, following a change in the continuation pay formula for members of the Guard and Reserve.
The Army increased that pay formula by eight times its previous rate for members of the Guard and Reserve, according to the Pentagon. The formula has not changed for active duty component troops, nor for other branches of service.
Continuation pay is a one-time bonus that some service members receive after signing an agreement to serve four more years. To qualify, a service member must have already served a dozen years.
The pay is part of the new Blended Retirement System. Service members were allowed to opt-in to the new system, which is more akin to a civilian 401(k). The majority of service members stayed in the legacy plan, which requires service members to serve 20 years before they are eligible for retirement benefits.
Approximately 983 National Guard soldiers will be eligible for continuation pay this year, according to Military Times. The bonus would be equal to four times their monthly pay.
Previously, continuation pay for the Army Guard was equal to half a month’s pay.
Active component service members are eligible to receive continuation pay equal to two-and-a-half months of pay. Other reserve components provide a half-month’s pay.
Military Times notes that a staff sergeant in the Guard who meets requirements for continuation pay would receive $13,562 more this year than they would have under the previous formula.
The change in the continuation pay formula is meant to help the reserve component meet its retention goals, officials said.