Sailors in the United States Navy get a pension after 20 years of service.

A few days ago, I met a man who told me he had been laid-off from the US Navy after 17 years of service and that he now works as the manager of a pizza shop, does this mean he won't be receiving any pension?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about personal finance but rather about labor law and employment contracts. Workplace@SE maybe? – littleadv Aug 19 '15 at 7:47
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    @littleadv I think this question can be generalized, and the obvious misinformation/FUD removed. IMHO, the essential question is: "Can you lose 100% of your retirement pension benefits if you are terminated before retirement?" I would imagine there are U.S. laws that protect earned pension credits after a minimum period. The answer to this kind of question/FUD is of interest to individuals who participate in workplace/public sector defined benefit pension plans. – Chris W. Rea Aug 19 '15 at 15:42
  • @ChrisW.Rea that may be, but it will still be off topic. As I said, workplace@se is more suitable for this kind of questions. – littleadv Aug 19 '15 at 16:33

The US military has addressed this issue via the Temporary Early Retirement Authority. This example applies to the US Army but it should also exist for the Navy.

The FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Public Law 112-81, enacted 31 December 2011, authorized the military services to offer early retirement to Soldiers who have completed at least 15 years of active service. This is a discretionary authority and not an entitlement. The Army has elected to use this limited program as part of a comprehensive force management strategy to shape the force. It does not apply to Soldiers of the Army National Guard or the U.S. Army Reserve.


Early retirement under TERA is limited to active duty Regular Army Soldiers who are denied continued active duty service with an established involuntary separation date of 30 September 2018 or earlier who meet the following criteria:

a. Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) denied continued service as a result of an approved Qualitative Service Program (QSP) centralized selection board who are serving on active duty and have completed 15 but less than 20 years of active service as of the established involuntary separation date.

b. Officers/Warrant 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, who are serving on active duty and have 15 but less than 20 years of active service as of their established involuntary separation date.

c. All Soldiers must meet all eligibility requirements for retirement for length of service for a 20-year retirement, except as provided for under the TERA program. Exceptions to other eligibility requirements are not considered. In all cases, early retirement will not occur prior to attainment of 15 years of service on the established separation date.

This early retirement benefit will not be extended to Soldiers who:

a. Were previously separated under Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI), Special Separation Benefit (SSB), or Voluntary Separation Pay (VSP) programs.

b. Are under evaluation for disability retirement under Title 10, Chapter 61.

c. Are members of the Army National Guard or U.S. Army Reserves.

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