How Long Must You Serve to Receive Military Retirement Pay?

A minimum of 20 years of service is generally required to receive military retirement pay. The earliest a person can retire from active duty is at 37 years old. An enlisted member who becomes incapacitated while doing full-time service is eligible to a disability pension.

Aside from the disability retirement plan, the military offers three other retirement schemes: final pay, high-36 and REDUX. The amount a retiree receives is calculated by taking the product of the retired basic pay and corresponding percentage multiplier. However, the military grants the full 100 percent of a member’s basic pay for those who serve for a minimum of 40 years.