In order to be eligible to retire from the military reserves, reservists must complete 20 years of qualifying service. Once they have met this minimum service requirement, reservists automatically receive a letter of eligibility for retirement, according to the U.S. Army Human Resource Command.
Reservists can begin drawing retirement pay at age 60. However, payment of retirement benefits is not automatic, warns Military Times. Retirees must submit an application for military pay before any payments commence. The application is usually sent from Reserve Personnel Command to the address of record when the reservist reaches the age of 58 or during the following year, states Military Times.
The Department of Defense calculates retirement pay based on several factors, reports the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. The retirement pay formula multiplies the reservist's base pay by a percentage based on years of service. Longer service translates into higher retirement pay.
In 2008, the National Defense Authorization Act authorized early retirement benefits for reservists serving at least 90-day deployments in overseas locations such as Iraq and Afghanistan, according to The Military Wallet. Early retirement eligibility was extended in 2013 to reservists who served activations in response to national emergencies and certain natural disasters.