Retirement Choice Calculator

CNA’s Retirement Choice Calculator provides information that allows for informed retirement planning by men and women in the military services. 

Military personnel who entered service after July 31, 1986, who are eligible and intend to serve for 20 years, must choose between DOD’s High-3 plan, which bases retirement pay on the highest average basic pay for three years of a career, or the REDUX plan, which provides a $30,000 upfront bonus with smaller retirement checks over time.

Which choice is best for an individual’s needs? The upfront bonus is appealing, but the trade-off in decreased retirement income over the long-term can be costly. With CNA’s calculator, servicemembers can more accurately weigh the competing options.

To use the calculator, servicemembers need to enter just five pieces of information: the year they entered military service, the number of years they will have served when they retire, their tax rate, their paygrade at retirement, and an estimated age at death (given current life expectancies, a good age to use is 79). The calculator then computes the amount of money to be earned under each plan, the difference between those totals, and the interest rate needed to make up that difference.

View the report: Retirement Choice 2016.