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NEWS | Dec. 27, 2013

Temporary Early Retirement Authority

By Chief Master Sgt. Robert Valenca 628th Air Base Wing acting command chief

The Air Force has made public another program designed to help reduce the overall size of our force. This Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) is phase II of a program that was utilized earlier this year. The program is designed to allow Airmen to retire from active duty before fulfilling a full 20 years of service commitment.

This program is strictly voluntary and allows service members in specific career fields with between 15 and 19 years of Total Active Federal Military Service (TAFMS) as of July 31, 2014 to retire from the military. Additionally, if an Airman is between 19-20 years of service they can apply for the program no matter what career field they are serving in. Airmen can begin applying for the program between Jan. 14 and March 26 of next year, and will have an effective retirement date of Aug. 1, 2014. All applications will be approved by April 1, 2014.

There are a few items to look for in this program. First, although a voluntary program it does not guarantee you will be selected. Airmen should be sure to make no commitments thinking they will be automatically selected. All of these programs are designed to shape specific career fields in predetermined ranks and year groups. You must determine your eligibility with the Military Personnel Section and await approval from the Air Force Personnel Center before making any post military decisions. Second, it is vital you determine the impact this will have to your benefits. Although it is retirement it will be at a reduced rate and will vary whether you are currently enrolled in the High 3 retirement program or REDUX. It is essential you check with the finance office to see how this will affect your retirement pay.

This program has several exclusions that may make Airmen ineligible as well as many other implications that must be considered including education benefits and Career Status Bonuses. It is important you research all of the information and sit-down with your leadership and the Military Personnel flight and see how volunteering for TERA will affect you individually. For specifics on the program log on from a Common Access Card enabled computer and follow the link below to read the Personnel Service Delivery Memorandum on the subject.

For more information about TERA, click the link below: