USA: Navy Examines Early Retirement Option for Some Enlisted Retention Board-Separating Sailors
As announced by the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert during an All Hands Call at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Jan. 19, the Navy plans to offer voluntary early retirement to certain Sailors separating due to the Enlisted Retention Board (ERB).
A NAVADMIN outlining official guidance and application procedures for voluntary early retirement is forthcoming.
The National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law Dec. 31, 2011, reinstated the authority for the Department of Defense to implement Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) for Sailors who have completed at least 15 years of service. TERA is a temporary, voluntary program that offers voluntary early retirement at a reduced monthly stipend to eligible members with 15 to 20 years of active service.
“Our Sailors have served honorably and our Navy is committed to doing all we can to help them and their families successfully transition to the civilian sector,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) (SS/SW) Rick D. West. “We have aggressively pursued the option to offer early retirement benefits to eligible Sailors since Temporary Early Retirement Authority was granted. This is the right thing to do, and it ensures we provide the strongest possible transition benefits to those who qualify for retirement under TERA.”
Sailors who will have completed at least 15 years of active service as of Sept. 1, 2012, and who were not selected for retention by the ERB, will be eligible for early retirement benefits under TERA.
Eligible Sailors who desire early retirement under TERA must submit an application. As TERA is not an entitlement, all eligible members must apply to receive benefits, and all applications may not necessarily be approved. Detailed application procedures will be promulgated in a future NAVADMIN. Eligible Sailors who wish to apply for TERA will have their ERB results held in abeyance to facilitate their application for voluntary retirement.
Sailors whose TERA application is approved will be retired voluntarily no later than Sept. 1, 2012, and will not be entitled to involuntary separation pay (ISP). However, Sailors will remain qualified for enhanced ERB transition benefits until their retirement date.
“We strongly encourage Sailors who are eligible for voluntary early retirement under TERA to discuss this option with their families and with their command retention team,” said Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk. “Additionally, we’re encouraging Sailors to continue to take advantage of the multitude of transition assistance benefits and resources available to them during the next few months.”
“Sailors eligible to apply for early retirement should request to remain in the Navy through Sept. 1, 2012. NPC is now accepting Short Term Extension (STE) requests to extend a Sailors Soft End of Active Obligated Service (SEAOS) to Sept. 1, 2012, to ensure eligible Sailors have the opportunity to receive TERA benefits. Sailors should submit a request for an STE to NPC for expedited processing and approval. Further instructions on submitting STE requests are forthcoming. Because of their time-sensitive nature, commands are encouraged to expedite these requests. Once program application procedures are established, Sailors may still be able to separate prior to Sept. 1, 2012 if their application is approved and they have accumulated 15 years of service.”
ERB Sailors who will reach 15 years of service after Sept. 1, 2012, will not be eligible for TERA and must separate in accordance with ERB policies no later than Sept. 1, 2012, or at the end of their operational deferment, as applicable.
Naval Today Staff , January 23, 2012; Image: navy