Tester bill ensures reservists get retirement credit earned through service

Senator’s bipartisan legislation would fix technicality, ensure time deployed is credited toward retirement

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today introduced legislation to ensure that National Guard and Reserve members get the early retirement credit they have earned through active duty service.

While active duty American troops can receive retirement benefits immediately upon completion of service, most reservists must currently wait until the age of 60 to begin receiving benefits. 

A 2008 law allows the minimum retirement age for reservists to be moved up by three months for every 90 days of deployment overseas.  However, under current law, those 90 days of deployment must occur within one fiscal year in order to be applied toward retirement—meaning reservists who deploy for more than 90 days spanning two fiscal years receive no retirement credit.

Tester’s new bipartisan bill would correct that technicality, authorizing early reserve retirement credit for every 90 days of active duty service over two years.

Roger Hagan, President of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), praised Tester’s legislation.

“I applaud Senator Tester’s efforts to make right the technicality that has unfairly denied our National Guard members a retirement credit they are due,” said Hagan, of Helena, Mont.  “Senator Tester’s bill will correct this technicality and grant retirement credit to thousands of additional reserve troops who have served our nation in recent years.  I know first-hand how this will benefit several members of the Montana National Guard and know they too appreciate Senator Tester's efforts.”

“Today, as folks across the country honor our service members as the heroes they are, we’ve got to make sure that they get the benefits they’ve earned through their outstanding service,” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “Members of our National Guard and Reserve forces have been called upon in historic ways in the past ten years.  They’ve met their obligations honorably, and Montanans are rightfully proud of them.  This legislation will make sure that these brave men and women get the benefits they’ve earned.”

Tester’s bill is endorsed by the Military Coalition—an organization of nationally prominent uniformed services and veterans associations representing more than 5.5 million members.

A copy of Tester’s bipartisan Reserve Retirement Deployment Credit Correction Act is available on his website, HERE.