Air Force offers early retirement option in certain career fields

By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 26, 2013

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – The Air Force is offering some officers and enlisted personnel in certain career fields the option to retire early, one of several force management plans the service says it intends to implement to meet fiscal 2014 end-strength goals.

The Air Force also is looking at involuntary early retirement for colonels and lieutenant colonels in select fields before the end of the year.

The Temporary Early Retirement Authority — commonly referred to as the 15-year retirement — is open to eligible technical sergeants, master sergeants, captains, majors and lieutenant colonels with at least 15 but less than 20 years of total active-duty service as of Oct. 31, according to an Air Force news release.

The Air Force will accept applications starting Monday, July 29, through Aug. 15. Those approved must be retired by Nov. 1, 2013.

“This is not a ‘first come, first serve’ program and all eligible applications will be reviewed prior to approval/disapproval,” according to Air Force guidance. “Please note any part of the program may close with little or no notice.”

Members retiring under the provision would receive all traditional retirement benefits — though retired pay would be reduced by 1 percent for every full year they lack in reaching 20 years of service, according to the Air Force.

For complete early retirement application instructions and eligibility requirements, including eligible career fields, airmen should go to the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil and search for “PSDM 13-73” for the enlisted program or “PSDM 13-74” for the officer program.

The early retirement offer, announced Thursday, comes about a week after Air Force officials said they expect the service to end fiscal 2013 “at or marginally over end strength.” The fiscal 2014 budget request foresees an active-duty strength of 327,600, which is a reduction of 1,860 from the fiscal 2013 end strength, the Air Force said in a July 18 news release.

The Air Force on Thursday said that it would convene a selective early retirement board Dec. 9 to consider eligible lieutenant colonels and colonels for involuntary early retirement. Career fields affected include Nurse Corps, Biomedical Sciences Corps, Judge Advocate General Corps and Medical Services Corps.


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