MILPER Number: 17-199





Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA)




a.  Public Law 112-81, Section 504, FY12 NDAA, 31 December 2011.

b.  Public Law 102-484, Section 4403, FY93 NDAA, 23 October 1992.

c.  Memorandum, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, 12 April 2012, subject:  Temporary Early Retirement Authority Procedural Guidance.

d.  Army Directive 2016-27 (Temporary Early Retirement Authority), 23 June 2016.

e.  AR 600-8-24 (Officer Transfers and Discharges) (*RAR 003, 13 Sep 11), 12 April 2006.

f.  AR 15-80 (Army Grade Determination Review Board and Grade Determinations), 12 July 2002.

1.  Listed references will be utilized as program guidance/authority.

2.  This message will expire 23 June 2018.

3.  The purpose of this message is to provide updated guidance to Regular Army (RA) officers in support of TERA.  TERA offers voluntary early retirement, at a reduced monthly retirement pay, to eligible members prior to completing 20 years of active service.

4.  TERA is a discretionary authority and is not an entitlement.  Eligible members who desire early retirement must apply for consideration.

a.  Approval is not assured and will be based on the needs of the Army.  Retirement with at least 20 years of service has been and will continue to be the basic entitlement for those personnel who complete an Army career.

b.  The approval authority for TERA is the CG, U.S. Army Human Resources Command.

5.  Applicability:  Officers denied continued service with an established involuntary separation date of 31 Dec 18 or earlier who meet all eligibility criteria below may request TERA in lieu of involuntary separation.

a.  Officers who have twice failed selection for promotion to the next grade, including those who have been selected for, but not yet accepted, selective continuation, and those selected for separation from service by a centralized force shaping selection board process, who are serving on active duty and have 15 but less than 20 years of active service as of their established involuntary separation date.

b.  Officers must meet all eligibility requirements for retirement for length of service for a 20-year retirement, except as provided for in this message.  Exceptions to other eligibility requirements will not be considered.  In all cases, early retirement will not occur prior to attainment of 15 years of service on the established separation date.

6.  Guidance.

a.  This early retirement benefit will not be extended to officers who were previously separated under voluntary separation incentive, special separation benefit, voluntary separation pay programs or are under evaluation for disability retirement under Title 10, Chapter 61.

b.  Eligible officers who previously requested transfer of post 9-11 GI bill benefits to dependents (prior to meeting the eligibility requirements as provided for in paragraph 5 above), are entitled to maintain transferred benefits without further service obligation.  If the officer had not previously transferred post 9-11 GI bill benefits, they are no longer eligible to transfer them.  Individuals who have been approved for TERA but who have not been approved to transfer post 9-11 GI bill benefits to family members prior to being approved for TERA will not be permitted to transfer their benefits.

c.  Officers approved for early retirement receive the same benefits as those who retire with 20 or more years of service, except their retirement pay will be reduced.  The basic TERA retired pay entitlement will be computed as described in reference c.  Interested officers should contact their local retirement services officer for an estimate of their retired pay.

d.  Officers must initiate Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) services as soon as possible.  Public law mandates that Soldiers receive the required pre-separation counseling (DD Form 2648) a minimum of 90 days prior to his/her retirement date.  Soldiers are not authorized to retire without having a completed DD Form 2648 at the servicing transition center.

e.  DOD guidance (reference c) requires separation program designator code “RBE” for use with early retirements of officers with more than 15 but less than 20 years of service.

7.  Application and approval procedures for officers:

a.  RA officers who are two-time non-select for promotion to the next grade or who have been selected for separation by a force shaping centralized board selection process will be notified by HRC of their mandatory separation date.  Notification procedures will be conducted by officer retirements and separations pursuant to AR 600-8-24, Officer Transfers and Discharges.

b.  Application:  Officers will receive written notification of non-selection for promotion.  Retirement applications for RA officers will be submitted to local transition centers pursuant to AR 600-8-24, chapter 6, for processing to HRC.  The standard 9-12 month submission timeframe for retirement applications will be waived for TERA submissions.  In addition to standard retirement application requirements, officer’s non-select acknowledgment memorandum and election option indicating their TERA option must be attached to the application and submitted to the retirement authority NLT 30 days from date of acknowledgment memorandum.

c.  Pursuant to AR 15-80, Army Grade Determination Boards, all retirements involving commissioned and warrant officers will be considered for potential referral to a grade determination review board.

d.  Officers who elect TERA, but fail to comply with regulatory requirements for retirement submission, will be issued an involuntary separations control number by HRC.  HRC will notify local transition centers of the involuntary separation 90 days prior to the mandatory release date.

e.  Pursuant to Title 10, mandatory separation dates will not be extended.

8.  This is an HQDA G-1 and Human Resources Command coordinated message.

9.  For Army use only, Point of Contact:  Officer Personnel Management Directorate, commercial:  (502) 613-6600.