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New early retirement window opens

Apr. 15, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Airmen return from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. The Air Force has opened a new round of 15-year retirement opportunities for airmen who were deployed, on a short-tour assignment or had an unwaiverable service commitment during the last application window.
Airmen return from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. The Air Force has opened a new round of 15-year retirement opportunities for airmen who were deployed, on a short-tour assignment or had an unwaiverable service commitment during the last application window. (Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier/Air Force)
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The Air Force on Tuesday opened a new window for select airmen to apply for early retirement.

The new Temporary Early Retirement Authority, popularly known as 15-year retirement, application period will run until May 13. It will only be open to airmen who were unable to apply for the first round of TERA because they had unwaiverable active-duty service commitments, deployment status or a short tour assignment.

The Air Force also plans to open another application period for both TERA and voluntary separation pay between May 22 and June 30. Those voluntary separations will be available to officers who are eligible to meet the reduction-in-force board scheduled to convene in October.

The Air Force Personnel Center on April 3 announced its plans to give some airmen a second chance at an early exit after receiving expanded authority to waive some active-duty service commitments, or ADSCs. The first TERA window had closed eight days earlier. AFPC now has the authority to waive commitments for aviation retention pay, undergraduate flying training, advanced flying training, Air Force Institute of Technology commitments, medical residency training, and medical special pays and bonuses.

“Some airmen who were interested in applying were unable to do so because their service commitment couldn’t be waived,” AFPC operations division chief Col. Joe Atkins said. “AFPC was recently granted expanded ADSC waiver authorities after the first TERA window closed. Opening a second window helps ensure that those airmen are treated equitably.”

The Air Force also expanded the newest TERA round to some airmen whose deployment or short tour return dates were after the original required separation or retirement date. The revised policy will allow those airmen to apply for early retirement, under certain circumstances.

“A deployed airman could request a retirement date up to four months after returning to their home states,” Atkins said. “For an airman on a short tour assignment, their requested retirement date must correspond with their date eligible to return from overseas.”

Airmen who are approved for this round of TERA who are not on a deployment or short tour must retire by Sept. 1.

Officers who are approved for the RIF-only TERA, the application period for which runs from May to June, must retire by Jan. 1, 2015. Officers who are approved for the RIF-only VSP must separate by Dec. 31.

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