Military Retirement Calculator

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Ben

Military Retirement Calculator

Are you a military service member finding a way to figure out how much money you will receive when you retire? Military Retirement Calculator provides the answer. A military retirement calculator is a free and easy-to-use tool that will help you calculate your monthly payments, yearly payouts, and value of savings after retirement. All service members need to understand what they are entitled to financially before making the decision to retire from the military.

ahg top banner

What is the Frozen Benefit Rule?

In the new law, states can divide up military retirement benefits. The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act gave this power to the states. It went into effect on December 23 of 2016.

If a couple gets divorced, the spouse’s share of their military retirement is frozen as of the date when they were divorced. The spouse will not get any more money in addition to what they already have. Military members get money each time they work for two more years. For example, if you have been working for four years, you would get a pay increase on your 6th anniversary.

The frozen benefit rule pertains to all cases where the decree of dissolution, legal separation, or annulment is issued after December 23, 2016. That was a very important day for us. If you were going back to calculate a former spouse’s share of retirement, and the decree awarding the share was before that date, you would use the traditional coverture formula.

Military Retirement Pay Calculator Using Frozen Benefit Rule

For a soldier in the military to get their retirement, DFAS will need to find out how much money they are making. And the calculation is more difficult than it used to be because they also have to include what the soldier had earned from work before their discharge.

Difference Between Frozen Benefit Rule & Coverture Formula

There is an example of the impact of the frozen benefit rule. We will use a soldier for this example. He joined one year ago and got married last year. Five years after they got married, the couple got a divorce. The soldier had to be in the Army for six years at that point, and there were five years of marriage overlapping with his service.

  1. Calculate Marital Percentage. You need to calculate the marital share as a percentage. That is five years of marriage divided by six years of service, or 83.33%. Normally the calculation is more granular and done by months or even days.
  2. Calculate Hypothetical Retirement. A soldier cannot retire with just six years of service. You need to calculate the retirement for that servicemember. He had a High-3 pay and was an E-5, so you would need to do some math. And also, suppose that the member’s retirement benefits accrue at 2.5% per year. This is an assumption, but this is not always a safe assumption with the new blended retirement system. That means the speculative retirement amount comes to 6 x 2.5% x $2800, or $420/mo.
  3. Calculate Spouse’s Share. The partner receives one-half of the 83.33% marital share or 41.67%. So her share comes to 0.4167 x $420, or $175/mo, plus COLAs. NOTE – this dollar amount is for planning purposes only. The actual percentage share should be expressed to make sure the former spouse will receive COLAs.

When a soldier goes to war, his wife is under his authority. By contrast, if they are married after the NDAA changed the law, he may not have authority over her. If you are an E-5 with 28 years of service, then you could retire as a Sergeant Major (E-9) with a High-3 pay of $6800.

Calculate How Much You’ll Need for Retirement

You know that it is important to save for when you are old. You may already be putting money in an account for the future, called an IRA or TSP. But do you need to know how much fund you need to save to be able to cover your expenses in retirement? Here is what you should do.

Here are some ways you can save for retirement:

Estimate your Retirement Expenses (in today’s dollars)

You will have to pay for new things in retirement. For example, you might have to buy different food. Know what will happen to your expenses when you retire. For example, food will cost the same as ever. But you will not need to spend money on commuting because you won’t have a job. If you pay off your mortgage during retirement, your housing costs will be lower. Healthcare costs may go up, on the other hand.

You can use some planning tools to get an estimate of what your retirement expenses will be. They are called retirement calculators. You might want to begin with one of these. In any case, it is important to understand what you need for your retirement expenses. This way, you will know how much money you will need in retirement.

Estimate your Retirement Income

The usual rule used by financial planners is that you’ll need to replace 75-85% of your current income with living comfortably in retirement. To find the amount of money you will need to live on in retirement, divide the amount from your different sources of retirement income.

Calculate the Gaps

If you subtract the money you get from your retirement savings from the money you spend, it will tell you how much more money you need to save. Our calculator can help. This calculator helps you grasp how much money you will need to save for retirement.

The calculator adjusts your current expenses for inflation and also takes into account how long you will live in retirement and what the taxes might be in that time. If you had saved money in a 401(k) or TSP, your withdrawals would be taxable. You will need more funds to cover your expenses than if you had saved in a Roth IRA, where the withdrawals are tax-free.

Adjust your Savings

You can make a contribution of up to $18,500 to the TSP in 2018. You can do this even if you are not working in the United States. If you are 50 or older, you can make a $24,500 contribution to the TSP for 2018. You can put up to $5,500 into a traditional IRA or Roth IRA in the year. If you have more income, then you can put more in. When you contribute to one of these, your taxable income goes down.

Contributions to a Roth TSP account or Roth IRA are made with after-tax funds now. But if you wait until age 59½, the earnings will be tax-free as long as you have held those funds in your account for at least five years. There are exceptions to this rule, though.

ahg mid banner

Military Retirement Compensation Calculators

Blended Retirement Comparison Calculator:  This calculator compares the Legacy High-3 plan vs. the Blended Retirement System (BRS).

BRS Calculator:  This will tell you how much funds you have when you retire and how much it will be every year.

High-3 Calculator: This calculator will tell you how much money your retirement benefits are going to be worth.

Final Pay Calculator: This calculator estimates how much your retirement pay will be. You need to enter some information about your personal situation. It only applies to people who entered into service before September 8, 1980.

REDUX Calculator: This calculator helps you see how much your retirement benefits will be when you retire. You can change the numbers on the calculator to see how it changes your future. For example, if you had a Career Status Bonus at 15 years of service and then retired, this calculator will show what your retirement benefits are like.

Retired Disability Pay Estimator:  **No longer Available from DFAS** A military medical retirement calculator is an easy way to see how much you will get from the military. You enter your personal information, and it shows you what monthly compensation you will get from the VA, retired pay, and CRSC.

RMC Calculator: Regular Military Compensation is a way to make sure that every service member who gets paid is given the same amount of money. It also means that you will get more money if you have a family than if you don’t have one.

SCAADL Calculator: The SCAADL or Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living is a monthly payment to catastrophically injured or ill people. They need help with activities, like getting dressed or taking care of their home. It is also paid to people at risk for personal safety and live in the community without caregivers.

Thrift Savings Plan Retirement Calculators

The TSP calculators will help you figure out if getting monthly income is right for you. They compare the different options and tell you which is best for your situation.

  • Estimate how much your TSP account will grow.
  • Calculate to determine the specific amount you need to contribute each paycheck in order to maximize your account.
  • Paycheck Estimator – Estimate how your contributions to a TSP account may affect take-home pay and savings.
  • Contribution Comparison Calculator – Decide which type of contributions will best suit your retirement goals.
  • This is a calculator that shows the TSP Payment and Annuity.
  • Estimate Loan Payments

COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment)

The annual COLA Increase affects many retirement systems. One of these is retired military and social security. You can see when your next increase will happen by going to the COLA Increase Watch page.

How to Utilize the High-3 Military Retirement Calculator

First, if you entered the military between 1980 and 1986, you are eligible for the High 36 Retirement System.

If you work for the government, the High 36 retirement system is almost exactly the same as the Final Pay Retirement System. You will retire with a monthly check if you work for 36 months on average. If you retire with 20 years of service, you get 50% of your average highest 36 months base pay. If you retire after 40 years, you get 100% of your average highest 36 months base pay.

How to Utilize the Final Pay Military Retirement Calculator

If you entered the military before September 7, 1980, you are eligible to receive monthly benefits of $2,563 for life.

You get paid after you retire. It is calculated based on your monthly salary from when you retire, multiplied by 2.5% for every year of service. That means if you retire after 20 years of service, you will get half of your base pay. If you retire after 40 years, then you will get all of your base pay.

ahg top banner


Military retirement calculators are online tools that can help you estimate your military pension and benefits. Doing so will allow you to plan for the future with more certainty about what’s in store—especially if you want to put together a long-term financial strategy.

Military retirement calculators are online tools that can help you estimate your military pension and benefits. Doing so will allow you to plan for the future with more certainty about what’s in store—especially if you want to put together a long-term financial strategy.

Scroll to Top