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Air Force offers early retirement for enlisted airmen and officers

Eligible airmen must apply from July 29 to Aug. 13

Jul. 25, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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If you’re looking to retire before putting in your 20, now may be your chance.

The Air Force is accepting applications for the Temporary Early Retirement Authority program from July 29 until Aug. 13, according to Air Force memorandums obtained by Air Force Times. The retirement incentive is open to technical sergeants, master sergeants, captains, majors and lieutenant colonels with between 15 and 19 years of service.

Those who are approved for early retirement will receive all the benefits of traditional retirement pay, but they would also be docked 1 percentage point for each year short of 20 years.

The program is not “first come/first served,” according to the memos. The Air Force will select who gets early retirement based on the service’s manning needs. Accordingly, Air Force Specialty Codes, year groups and competitive categories can be deemed ineligible with little or no notice.

To find out if you are eligible for TERA, go to the FY 2014 Voluntary Force Management page on the My Personnel Service (myPers) website or type in “25484” on the main page under “Search by Keyword” to look at the eligibility matrix. Those who are approved for early retirement would leave the service on Nov. 13.

Approval of TERA applications is based on three criteria, said Lt. Col. Jason Knight, deputy chief of the military force policy division, in a written response to questions from Air Force Times on July 22.

“First, applicants must meet basic eligibility requirements as laid out in the PSDMs [memos] (grade, years of service, AFSC, sustainment, etc.),” Knight said in an email. “Second, applicants with no ADSC [Active Duty Service Commitment] will be given priority for approval. Third, applicants with ADSCs that are waiverable through the FY14 voluntary force management program will be given next priority, based on the least ADSC being approved first. In any instance of a tie, longest time in grade, commander recommendation, and then the application date stamp will be considered. The approval authority for TERA applications is AFPC [Air Force Personnel Center].”

The Air Force did not offer TERA for this fiscal year because its projections indicated it did not need the program to meet its end strength goals, Knight said. Of the 391 airmen who applied for TERA last year, 241 were turned down.

“Those 241 who were not approved did not meet the basic criteria or met the exclusion criteria (such as AFSC not eligible, DEROS [Date Eligible for Return from Oversees] longer than waiver allowed, deployed),” Knight said. “Advertising program criteria and providing detailed information to our FSS's [Force Support Squadrons] and MPS's will help better educate the force on all of our voluntary force management programs.”

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