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Library > Factsheets > Retired Pay Grade


Posted 4/26/2013 Printable Fact Sheet

Normally retired pay will be computed based on the highest grade held. If an Airman took a voluntary demotion, ARPC has the authority to authorize retired pay to be calculated in the higher grade. However, if the Airman was demoted for cause, then all information pertinent to the demotion may be forwarded to the secretary of the Air Force for a grade determination. 

Time in Grade: 

Officers: If Airmen met a promotion board before Oct. 1, 1996, they only have to have held the grade satisfactorily for one day. 

If they met the board on or after Oct. 1, 1996, they will have to meet the following requirements: 

     Voluntary Retirement - Lieutenant Colonel and above must serve satisfactorily in the higher grade for three years to receive retired pay in the higher grade. Major and below must serve satisfactorily in the higher grade for six months to receive retired pay in the higher grade. 

The Secretary of the Air Force authorized the Air Force Reserve to reduce the three-year TIG requirement to two years for certain officers...(FY09)  (FY10) requirements . The authorization applies to Reserve lieutenant colonels who are affected by Base Realignment and Closure, Program Budget Decision 720 and other force structure changes. It also applies to all colonels, and all eligible AGR and ART personnel. 

For information on ANG procedures, please contact NGB/A1PO Force Management Office at

NOTE: Limitation for lieutenant colonels for BRAC, PBD 720, and other force structure changes does not apply to AGR lieutenant colonel applicants. 

     Involuntary Separation - Officers involuntarily separated for maximum age or time (MSD) need six months time in grade to retire in their current grade. Retired pay will be computed at the highest grade held satisfactorily during their military career.

Enlisted:  Enlisted Airmen must only hold the higher grade for one day to receive retired pay in the higher grade.

Total Force Service Center-Aurora
(800) 525-0102 // DSN 847-3294

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