Early Retirement Program May Open for Enlisted

Coast Guard officers that have between 15 and 19 years of service come Oct. 1, 2015 can apply for an early retirement with the USCG's Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) between now and August 15.

TERA allows some Coast Guard officers that might be interested in starting a second career a chance to start that sooner, while still receiving some retirement pay and trimming the USCG's payroll.

It hasn't been very popular, with only 22 officers using the program in 2013. If the officer usage doesn't pick up, there's a chance that the USCG may also offer the program to enlisted in the coming years. There are no plans to offer the program to enlisted this year, however.

The current TERA program is open to all officers, with lieutenants, lieutenant commanders, and commanders having priority. Soldiers going through involuntary separation (including medical, disciplinary, or administrative separation) are not eligible, as are those who are due for new orders in 2015. Retiring five years early will reduce the retirement benefits you receive, however, and if you are planning on transferring Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a family member the four year service obligation still applies.