May Shirt Blast
By Senior Master Sgt. Alex Gross, 169th Fighter Wing
/ Published April 27, 2018
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --
Hello Swamp Foxes and welcome to May drill! Last month's Shirt Blast discussed the basics of points, where to find more information about points, and what makes a good year. This month we're going to hit on the value of a point. Have you ever thought about how much a single point is worth? The math on it can be daunting, but it's not as complicated as it sounds. It's actually already calculated for you in an easy to read chart. Click the link below:
Each year, ARPC comes up with a new chart that tells you how much a single point is worth in monthly retirement income for a given rank and number of years in service. The link above will take you to 2017. For example, each point is worth about $.32 in monthly retirement income for a Master Sgt. with over 20 years of service. Think about that for a minute. If you plan on retiring at 20 years of service as a Master Sgt., every point you earn from the time you joined the Air Force is worth $.32. That means every drill adds about $1.28 toward your monthly retirement check. You can also apply it to Professional Military Education; a 30 point course is worth $9.60/month in retirement income. How about annual tour? $4.80/month for the rest of your life when you begin collecting your retirement check.
Most of us will actually have a much higher time in service than we think. This is because when you retire, if you enter the retired reserves (the most common selection) vs resignation, your time in service continues to go up despite not actually continuing to drill or earning any points. Don't believe me? Check out this article: https://themilitarywallet.com/guard-reserves-retirement-benefits-guide/
The point is (pun intended) that each point has value and I would highly recommend you maximize the number of points you earn. Points = money! Between drills, schools, PME, TDY, deployments, etc. they add up pretty quickly. So if you're not minding your points, GET ON IT! And pressure those around you to as well.
I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to discuss this topic with your peers, supervisors, and subordinates, you never know who it could help. Thanks for your time and all you do!
*This is for those not enrolled in the Blended Retirement System. Since that system is based on 2% per 360 points vs. 2.5% per 360 points, the point values will be lower. I expect multiple charts to be coming out in future years.