Pensions & Probate
Moving on from any job and getting older can be a difficult process. Suddenly, your routine of decades has drastically changed, and you need to start planning for the next phase in your life. As Veterans ourselves, we entirely understand what you are going through. At this time, you have to start thinking about protecting your pension and protecting your loved ones when you can no longer provide for them. On this page, you can get the information that you need about your pension and the process of protecting your assets through creating a Last Will and Testament or a type of trust. As veterans, we can assist you in this process and make sure that you are prepared for the next phase in your life. Contact us today to discuss your pension or your probate process.
What happens when I retire from the military?
In a normal situation, after a minimum of 20 years, members of the Army Reserves or Army Guard can retire and receive their pensions and retirement pay. Members who are disabled while they are on duty can become medically retired, and they will receive disability retirement. Your retirement pay will be determined by taking a pay base and multiplying it by a percentage. There are four types of retirement payment plans – the high-36 method, the final pay method, the REDUX retirement plan, and the disability plan. The first two retirement plans are determined by the date that you entered the military, the REDUX plan applies to those on active duty retirement, and the disability plan is for disabled servicemen and women.
Determining Pay Base
There are two ways to determine a retired pay base – the high-36 month average method, and the final pay method. The high-36 method is reached by determining the highest 36 months of pay, taking the average, and dividing it by 36. For many, the highest 36-month payment period will consist of the last three years of military service.
Determining the final pay method is done by basing the retirement pay off of the final basic pay.
The method that you use for your pay base will be determined by the date that you entered the military, also referred to as the Date of Initial Entry To Military Service (DIEMS) or the Date of Initial Entry to Uniformed Services (DIEUS). Leaving the military and then reenlisting does not change your DIEMS or DIEUS, but your pay date can differ from the DIEMS/DIEUS. If you entered the military services before September 8th, 1980, you will use the final pay method. If you entered the services on or after September 8th, 1980, you will use the High-36 method.
Multiplying Retired Pay
Whether you use the High-36 or the Final Pay method, each year that you have served will be worth 2.5% toward your retirement multiplier. For example, if you served 20 years in the military, your multiplier will be 50%.
The REDUX retirement plan uses the High-36 multiplier, but the multiplier is reduced by one percent for every year that the service member has less than 30 years of service at the time of retirement. So if you use the 20 years served example, the multiplier will only be at 40% if you use the REDUX retirement plan.
The disability retirement plan can have a multiplier that is higher than 2.5%, but the retirement multiplier for this plan cannot exceed 75%.
Losing your Pension
Under certain circumstances your right to your pension may be impacted by criminal or military discipline or divorce. Please contact us at Bansley Anthony to determine how to secure your rights to your pension benefits.
Protecting your Family & Assets
As you get older, you have to start planning ahead to make sure that your family and assets will be provided for upon your death. You can do this by creating an estate plan, a Will, or a trust. Some benefits of creating one of these documents are:
- Being clear about what you want to happen to your assets when you’re gone.
- Making provisions for your health and assets if you become incapacitated.
- Avoiding probate, which can be an expensive and timely process.
- Protecting certain assets from debt collectors.
- Helping your family carry out your funeral arrangements and wishes.
- Providing for your minor children and ensuring that the best person for the job takes care of them.
- Making sure that a surviving spouse or children have enough money to maintain their standard of living.
As fellow Veterans, we can help you plan for your future. We will make sure that you receive the pension that you are entitled to, and we can help you draft a Will, estate plan, or trust to make sure that your family will be provided for in the event of your death. If you are still on active duty, we suggest creating a Will or estate plan to prepare for the future. Contact us today with questions and to see how we can help you.