Can a Marine Reserve Qualify for Retirement Benefits?

The military offers significant benefits for Marine Reserve retirees. Marine reservists can earn retirement benefits for fulfilling various duties in a points system. Points are earned over 20 years of qualified service in the Marine Reserves. Major benefits include retirement payments and access to military health care. In addition, Marine reservists who become partially disabled may be eligible for disability compensation.

Earning Points

Marine reservists earn points toward retirement through service. A point is earned for each day of completed active service. In addition, Marine reservists earn points for completing reserve training and passing coursework. For example, a Marine reservist could earn four points for completing a weekend of training- two points for each day. A Marine reservist must earn at least 50 points annually to have the year qualify towards the 20-year service requirement.

Retirment Benefits

There are many benefits available to retired Marine reservists. Retirees collect monthly pay based on days of service and rank achieved. Up to 55 percent of retirement pay can be designated to beneficiaries. Retirement benefits also include access to base commissaries and military health care. Commissaries often sell goods at a discount compared to civilian department stores. In addition, retirees can travel at low cost on military transport planes when seating is available.

When Benefits Become Available

Marine reservists can collect benefits after the age of 60. Two years prior to reaching this age, the military will send a Notice of Eligibility letter to the Marine reservist. The reservist then must apply to receive military retirement pay. Under certain conditions, retirement pay can be drawn earlier than at age 60. For every 90 days of active service completed, the Marine reservist may collect pay three months earlier than regularly scheduled.

Disability Retirement Pay

In addition to reserve retirement pay, Marine reservists can also earn disability retirement pay if they are at least 30 percent disabled. To qualify, a Marine reservist must have become disabled in the line of duty or have served for eight years. The Veterans Administration offers disability compensation in addition to the Department of Defense disability pay. Of note, disability payments also include allowances for dependents.