by Master Sgt. J.C. Woodring
Air Reserve Personnel Center Public Affairs
3/6/2009 - DENVER (AFNS) -- Air Reserve Personnel Center officials here are finalizing procedures for validating the receipt of retired pay before Citizen Airmen, both guardsmen and reservists, turn 60 years old.
Since Jan. 28, 2008, Guard and Reserve Airmen can reduce the age they receive retirement pay by three months for each aggregate 90-day period of qualifying active duty served in any fiscal year, but they cannot receive retired pay before age 50. Specific details are available online.
"We are trying to make this as easy as possible for our Airmen," said Steve Hannan, director of personnel programs at ARPC. "The operational tempo of guardsmen and reservists is larger than many realize. So far this fiscal year, there could be more than 13,000 participating Guard and Reserve members performing creditable service entitling them to reduced-age retired pay."
ARPC officials are working with counterparts at the Air Force Personnel Center to add a field into the Military Personnel Data System so Citizen Airmen can see their estimated retired pay date.
"Until there is an automated way to track the information, our ARPC retirement technicians are reviewing personnel and finance records to see if Citizen Airmen qualify to receive their pay early," Mr. Hannan said. "In most cases, we hope to never ask a Citizen Airman to validate their service. Our testing shows that we can often determine the correct information from current finance and personnel systems. Only when these systems are inaccurate will we need the member's help."
So far, six people already are eligible to receive their retired pay before they turn 60. Information in MilPDS indicates more than 250 Citizen Airmen who are awaiting pay at age 60 may already be eligible for reduced pay age, ARPC officials said. After reviewing these records, ARPC retirement technicians will contact those who are eligible.
If Citizen Airmen are approaching retirement and believe they are entitled to get their pay early, they can call 800-525-0102 and discuss the specifics of their participation with retirement experts to validate their eligibility for early retired pay.