The National Guard is made up of part-time soldiers who respond to emergencies such as floods or storms and act as backups to active-duty soldiers in time of war. National Guard members receive retirement pay at the end of their part-time career. Their retirement pay is calculated differently, compared with active-duty participants. National Guard retirement pay is based on a point system, and points are earned throughout the soldier's career. Most National Guard soldiers can project what their retirement pay will be when they retire.
Obtain a 20-year letter stating you are eligible for retirement. This letter is normally sent automatically to National Guard members one year before their 20th year of service. Keep this letter in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box. This letter will be required when applying for retirement.
Determine your retirement age. Most National Guard members traditionally retire after 60. A new rule took effect in 2008 allowing some members to retire earlier. Members mobilized after Jan. 28, 2008, may reduce their retirement age by three months for every 90 days they are mobilized.
Calculate the total number of points earned during a National Guard career using a hand calculator. Points are generally accrued at the rate of one point for each day of service. Members can receive 365 points for each year of active duty they served before entering the National Guard. Members also receive points for training, assemblies or funeral duties.
Compute retired pay with a hand calculator. First use the points to determine the number of years of service. Members receive one year of service for every 365 points. For example, a member with 8,000 points would have 22 years of service. Then determine which formula to use to finish the retired pay computation. Members entering the service before Sept. 8, 1980, receive 2.5 percent of their final pay times the total number of years of service. Members entering the service after Sept. 8, 1980, receive 2.5 percent of the average of their 36 highest-paid months of service.
The calculated retirement pay may be slightly different than the actual retirement pay. Actual retirement pay will vary from the calculations used in this article due to leap years. The actual number and the calculated number will be extremely close, however.