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TERA program offers enlisted, officers early retirement
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TERA program offers enlisted, officers early retirement

Posted 8/5/2013   Updated 8/5/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Whitney Tucker
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

8/5/2013 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.  -- Air Force Personnel Center officials recently announced the implementation of the Temporary Early Retirement Authority program allowing technical and master sergeants, captains, majors and lieutenant colonels in certain Air Force specialties to retire with fewer than 20 years of active service.

Casually referred to as the 15-year retirement, TERA is one of several force management programs the Air Force will roll out during fiscal year 2014 in an effort to meet end-strength goals, said Lt. Col. John Barlett, AFPC operations division chief.

In order to be eligible for consideration, members must have accrued at least 15, but no more than 19 years of total active duty service as of Oct. 31, 2013. Qualified candidates may submit applications from July 29 through Aug. 15, and those approved must enter into retirement no later than Nov. 1, 2013.

"Airmen who desire to submit an application may do so through the virtual Military Personnel Flight, accessible via the Air Force Portal or the myPers website," said Airman First Class Eva Vineyard, 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron military personnel department. "Once the submission process is complete, applicants can check the status of their package under "MyStuff" in the vMPF after Sept. 1, 2013."

Retirement pay under TERA program guidelines will differ from person to person following the time in service retirement formula. For every year of active duty service, a member accumulates 2.5 percent of their pay, therefore after 20 years, Airmen receives 50 percent of their base pay. However, those choosing to take advantage of the TERA program will incur a reduction factor based on the number of months the retiree is short of 20 years. This factor, which is unique to each service member, will be incorporated into the payment formula and ultimately determine the benefits rendered.

Interested enlisted Airmen and officers who have Active Duty Service Commitments or time in grade requirements may be eligible for a waiver, although some waivers may require the member to repay the government.

"ADSCs incurred during technical training will likely be fully waived with no requirement for repayment, but if a member transferred his or her Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to a family member who used part or all of the benefits, the Airman may be required to reimburse the government for those funds," Vineyard said.

Airmen with an approved date of separation or a separation/retirement application pending prior to July 19 are ineligible for the TERA program. If an otherwise eligible member's separation or retirement application is denied, the member may qualify for TERA selection.

In addition, approved applicants who are subsequently selected for promotion will be allowed to withdraw their application, but they will only have 10 weekdays after their promotion notification to do so.

Approved applicants are still required to attend the mandatory Transition Assistance Program Seminar and should contact the Airman & Family Readiness Center to register for the class as soon as possible.

For full application instructions and eligibility requirements and a list of eligible career fields, go to the myPers website and search for "PSDM 13-73" for the enlisted program or "PSDM 13-74" for the officer program.

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