I wish I'd looked at this more closely last November, but better late than never. Have any of you more senior veterans considered your Reserve/National Guard pensions under the 40-year pay tables that take effect in April? Am I missing something here?
Let's look at a typical E-8/9. Under today's tables (Jan 2007)
, their last longevity pay raise would occur when they hit 26 years of service to make their pay $4705/month. Under the 40-year tables, however, their last longevity pay raise would occur at 30 YOS to $4799/month. Only $94/month, but when you're retired it's a 2% increase for the rest of your life.
The reason the Reserves/NG should really smile is because gray-area retirees continue to accrue longevity while waiting for their 60th birthday. (This is one of the sleaziest best retirement benefits around, even better than Social Security's wage indexing.) So while you may have filed for retirement when you went over 20 years of service, your longevity would have continued to accrue during your "gray area" years and your retirement pay would have started in the "Over 26" column of the current pay tables.
Beginning in April for E-8/9 Reserve/NG gray-area retirees, retirement pay will start in the "Over 30" column with that 2% boost instead of the old "Over 26" column. It's like a year's free COLA.
I notice that the April 07 eye charts pay tables (page 2
) highlight the E-8/9 & O-6 ranks in blue ink. There's also a pay boost in the E-6/5 and Warrant ranks. (I'm not going to mention the flag officers, they won't ER and they don't read this board anyway!) Those of you who've been thinking about filing a retirement request might want to re-evaluate the risk of mobilization against your probability of being promoted into one of these ranks. Personally I think it'd need to be an extremely high probability of promotion to compensate for a mobilization, but you have to evaluate the risks on your own merits.
I would suspect that this pay table applies to those who haven't reached age 60 and started drawing retired pay. So even if you're already gray-area it might be worth going back to the ER drawing board and adding in the new numbers. If you're sitting on the fence then this could be all it takes to knock you off!
Here's what I wish I'd realized last November. If you're about to start drawing retired pay in March, don't. Defer it for the one additional month-- start your pension with the April boost and you'll quickly earn back the loss of the previous month's pension.