Tester, Chambliss team up to ensure Guardsmen, Reservists get early retirement credit

Senators’ amendment makes sure time deployed is counted toward retirement

(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) are teaming up to ensure that National Guard and Reserve members get the early retirement credit they earned through active duty service.

Tester and Chambliss are introducing an amendment to a national defense bill that would allow Guardsmen and Reservists to receive early retirement credit for every 90 days of active duty service over two years.

While qualified active duty 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. But under current law, those 90 days of deployment must occur within one fiscal year to be applied toward retirement-meaning reservists who deploy for more than 90 days spanning two fiscal years receive no retirement credit.

“As folks across the country honor our service members, we’ve got to make sure their benefits reflect their increased service,” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Members of our National Guard and Reserve have been called upon in historic ways over the past twelve years, and they have fulfilled their obligations with honor. This legislation helps make sure these brave men and women are properly recognized by granting them the retirement benefits they’ve earned.”

“Our guardsmen and reservists serve alongside all branches of the regular armed forces, and they should be recognized and compensated for the indispensable role they play in the defense of our nation,” Chambliss, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said. “I will continue to fight for them to receive credit and recognition for their service when considering retirement benefits.”

Tester also sponsored a national defense amendment with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to increase pay for service members due to the cost of living.