People that serve in the United States military become eligible for a retirement pension after 20 years of service. This gives servicemembers the ability to retire in comfort if they take advantage of the opportunity.
Since members typically join when they are young adults, a person could retire with a pension after 20 years with a strong resume. They could get a job in the private sector and have two different source of income going forward, and they could contribute into a 401(k) at work.
The amount of the pension increases with length of service, so there is also the military-as-a-career option. A veteran could remain in the service until they qualify for Social Security and put their working years behind them for good at that point.
In addition to the retirement pension, there is another pension that is simply called the Veterans Pension that flies under the radar. Since we are in a new year, there have been some adjustments to the parameters to account for the cost of living, and we will look at them here.
Veterans Pension Eligibility
The Veterans Pension is potentially available to former servicemembers that are 65 years of age or older or permanently and totally disabled.
With regard to the length of service, it is just 90 days with at least one day of service during wartime for veterans that started active duty before September 8, 1980. For people that joined after that date, the length of service requirement is 24 days with some service during wartime.
This Veterans Pension is intended for veterans that have some financial need, so there is a net worth limit. In 2021, this limit was increased to $130,773.
It should be noted that some items that you may own are not counted. Your home and your motor vehicle are not counted, and items that you have in your house that you would not take with you if you moved are not considered to be countable assets.
In addition to the basic Veterans Pension, there is also an Aid and Attendance designation for veterans that need assistance with their activities of daily living, and there is a separate Housebound designation.
2021 Veterans Pension Benefits
During the current calendar year, the maximum annual benefit for a single veteran that qualifies for the basic Veterans Pension is $13,931. The figure is $17,024 for Housebound-eligible veterans, and the maximum Aid and Attendance pension is $23,238 a year.
For veterans that have one dependent spouse or child, the maximum basic pension is $18,243. It is $21,337 for Housebound, and $27,549 for Aid and Attendance-eligible veterans.
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