How to Calculate Army Retirement Pay

Active-duty Army personnel who have served for at least 20 years in the military qualify for retirement in one of three non-disability retirement plans. Final Pay, CSB/REDUX and High-3 eligibility is based on the date you first entered military service. If you know this date and you know the number of years you’ve served in the military, you can calculate your estimated retirement pay under each of the these systems. Estimator calculators can generate charts and tables based on your personal situation to help you make the right retirement choices for you and your family.


    • 1

      Find the date when you first entered military service. Look at your service records for a date referred to as the DIEMS (Date of Initial Entry to Military Service) or the DIEUS (Date of Initial Entry to Uniformed Services). This date will determine which retirement system applies to you.

    • 2

      Decide on the number of years of military service that you plan to retire with.

    • 3

      Rely on the Final Pay retirement plan if you entered military service before September 8, 1980. Look at the amount of your final pay and divide that amount in half. If you served for more than 20 years, add an additional 2.5 percent of your basic pay to that amount for up to a maximum of 40 years of service.

    • 4

      Choose the High-3 retirement system plan if you first entered Service between September 8, 1980, and August 1, 1986. Determine your highest paid three-year period. Add these three amounts together and divide by 3 for your average pay.

    • 5

      Multiply years of service by 2.5 to determine the percent of the average pay you’ll get for retirement.

    • 6

      Choose the CSB/REDUX retirement plan. The highest 36-month basic pay rate is used as above. Multiply years of service beyond 20 years by 3.5 to get your pay rate.

    • 7

      Look at your military records to determine if your military start date was after August 1, 1986, and that you already received a retention bonus of $30,000. If both are true, you can choose to keep the CSB/REDUX plan or retire under the High-3 system. However, if you switch plans, you’ll retire at 40 percent of the average pay rate for your highest three years of pay during the first 20 years of service.

    • 8

      Choose to reject the retention bonus. You can revert to the High-3 retirement plan if your DIEMS date is after August 1, 1986, and you do not accept the Career Status Bonus. In this case, average the highest three-year pay amounts to determine your rate of retirement pay.


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