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Creditable Service Questions

When people talk about benefits for jobs, military benefits are often talked about. The discussion is often in regards as to how wonderful the benefits are for military personnel. Many people are unaware of how the retirement benefits are earned though, and few have heard of creditable service. Below are questions that have been asked of the Experts in regards to creditable service.

What does creditable service mean?

Creditable service means that an individual has met the requirements that are needed in order for them be considered eligible to be used as a year toward retirement.

If an individual receives a dishonorable discharge on their second enlistment, is the creditable service from the first enlistment still good?

Often, if an individual has a second enlistment and receives a dishonorable discharge, the dishonorable discharge has no effect upon the first enlistments years of creditable service. When the individual finished their first enlistment they should have received an honorable discharge certificate. The time served that qualified as creditable service from that enlistment will still be intact.

How do individuals in the National Guard met the requirements for creditable service?

If an individual is part of the National Guard, in order for them to have enough years of creditable service they will have to meet the yearly requirements to make the year a creditable year. The requirement is based upon a points system in which points are earned by the individual for various things. The points needed to make the year a creditable year is usually 50 points. Here is usually how the point breakdown works to make a year a creditable year; the National Guard member will usually accumulate 15 points simply for being a member of the National Guard, and another 35 points if they go to their training monthly as well as the training that occurs for two weeks in the summer. The things add up to 50 points and would make the year a creditable year. Years in which points are not met are not considered to be creditable service years and do not go toward the individual’s retirement.

Does creditable services play any part in the 20-20-20 rule?

In many cases, creditable service does play a major part in the 20-20-20 rule. The 20-20-20 rule is the rule that applies to former spouses of military personnel. In order for a former spouse of military personnel to receive full health care, commissary, and exchange benefits, the military personnel has to have had at least 20 years of creditable service and the former spouse has to have been married to the military personnel for at least 20 years which must coincide with military service. If an individual meets the requirements of the 20-20-20 rule and then remarries, all of the benefits are forfeited. The only way to have all the benefits with healthcare included is to have the new marriage annulled. Commissary and exchange benefits may be reinstated without the annulment. Another way is for the former spouse to marry another individual that is military personnel and meet the requirements all over again.

Creditable service is a means to determine retirement eligibility; it is employed in the United States military as such. If an individual is in the National Guard to get a creditable service year a certain level of points must be met, if the points are not met the year is not a creditable service year and does not go towards retirement. Any questions regarding creditable service may be asked of the Experts.
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