Military Pay and Pensions

Find information on basic pay, pensions, and retirement benefits for servicemembers, veterans, and military retirees, including whom to contact with questions and concerns.

Military and Retiree Pay Information

DFAS Pay Charts and Military Retirement Calculators

To find the latest news on military pay, benefits, and pensions, including Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) pay charts and retirement calculators, visit

Military, Civilian, and Retiree Pay Problems

You can fix your paycheck issues and report suspected military pay fraud through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).

Department of Defense (DOD) Employees, Reserve, and Retirees  

Coast Guard Employees, Reserve, and Retirees 

Pension Benefits for Military Retirees

The military has two retirement systems: the new Blended Retirement System and the legacy High-3 system. Which plan you can use depends on when you joined the military. 

Blended Retirement System (BRS) 

A new military retirement system went into effect on January 1, 2018. The new Blended Retirement System (BRS) includes:

  • Automatic and matching Thrift Savings Plan contributions
  • Mid-career retention bonuses
  • A monthly annuity for life after 20 years of service. The annuity will be based on a calculation of 2% per year served, versus 2 ½% per year under the traditional legacy retirement pension.

Enrollment in the BRS depends on when you joined the service:

  • If you joined before January 1, 2006, you’ll remain in the legacy retirement system.
  • If you joined between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2017, you have the choice of staying in the legacy system or enrolling in the new one. The last day to enroll in the BRS plan is December 31, 2018. To learn how to enroll, watch a video from your branch of service: 
  • If you joined the service on or after January 1, 2018, you were automatically enrolled in the BRS.

Legacy High-3 (High-36) System

Servicemembers in the legacy High-3 system must have begun their military service by December 31, 2017. Also called High-36 or “military retired pay,” this is a defined benefit plan. 

  • You’ll need to serve 20 years or more to qualify for the lifetime monthly annuity. 

Your retirement benefit is determined by your years of service. It’s calculated at 2.5% times your highest 36 months of basic pay.Compare the BRS and High-3 Systems

Military Retirees and Pension Benefit Questions

If you’re a military retiree with questions about your benefits, contact your branch of service:

Stay up-to-date with news about changes to your military retiree benefits, cost of living adjustments, and more from the Defense Finance Accounting Service.

Pension Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers an online tool and an online publication to help you determine if your pension or annuity payment is taxable.

Military Retirement and Social Security Benefits

Retirees can get both Social Security benefits and their military pension. Learn how the Social Security Administration (SSA) credits military service for your benefit.

State and Federal Benefits for Military Families

If you receive military or veterans benefits, you may also qualify for other state and federal benefits. This includes Social Security, unemployment benefits, health insurance coverage, welfare, and food assistance.

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Last Updated: November 16, 2018