The Retirement Services Officer (RSO) provides assistance to Soldiers and their Families preparing for and transitioning into retirement, Families of Soldiers who die on active duty, and Retired Soldiers, surviving Spouses and their Families.
- The RSO Provides counseling to these groups on their rights, benefits and entitlements.
- The RSO Assists with Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) elections.
- The RSO Keeps the retiree population informed of law and benefit changes.
RSO provides Retirement planning services to all active duty Soldiers and their Families. Post-retirement program services are available to all Retired Soldiers, surviving Spouses and their Families.
Major program components include:
- Mandatory Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Counseling - Every retiring active duty Soldier and Spouse (if Soldier elects less than the maximum Spouse SBP coverage allowed by law) must receive SBP counseling and/or information by a qualified SBP Counselor. The counseling includes available SBP options and the potential effects of participating or not participating in each of these options. This counseling should take place after the retirement application is submitted and should be at least 60 days before the official retirement date. Click here to read the retirement planning Guide.
- Mandatory SBP Election - If the Soldier is married, the Spouse is notified of the Soldier's election when the Soldier elects less than the maximum Spouse SBP coverage allowed by law. When this occurs, the Spouse must provide written notarized concurrence with the election. The Spouse’s concurrence must be dated on or after the date that the Soldier signed the election on the DD Form 2656 and prior to the Soldier’s retirement date. Without the Spouse's written notarized concurrence prior to date retired, the Soldier will receive the maximum level of Spouse coverage allowable under the law.
- Change of Mission Newsletter-The Army’s retirement planning newsletter, Change of Mission, is a quarterly, electronic newsletter sent to Soldiers in all three components with 17+ years of service. Change of Mission educates Soldiers about the retirement process, the decisions they and their families will make leading up to and immediately after their retirements, how their benefits will change when they retire, and why the Army wants them to be active Soldiers for Life in retirement. CLICK --->
Retirement Planning Briefing Policy
- It is mandatory that all Soldiers receive a retirement planning briefing at least 12 months before their official retirement date (or the date of departure on terminal/transition leave). In cases where a Soldier requests to retire in less than 12 months, the Soldier will attend the next group retirement planning briefing or receive an individual retirement planning briefing from an RSO.
- Provisions will be made to assist medically retiring Soldiers who may be so severely wounded/injured that neither the Soldier nor the Family members are able to attend a retirement planning/SBP briefing. Such special briefings should be conducted no later than the start of the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) process.
Length of Service Retirement
Ensure that you submit all required documents, incomplete packets will be returned with action.
An In Country Separation is required for anyone intending to separate or retire from and take leave within the Republic of Korea, before or after their separation date.
(If you do not have an approved In Country Separation prior to your final out and remain in Korea all of your Korea / OCONUS financial entitlements will stop)
The above slide decks are for your convenience, to review. You must physically attend the Pre-Retirement Planning Seminar
- Retiree Council Programs – The RSO administers the Retiree Council Program. The main objectives of the council is to provide input to Army leadership on significant issues affecting the retired community and to help the Army communicate with the retired community across the Army. The Installation Retiree Councils (IRC) is established and chartered by individual installations or garrison commanders
- Retiree Appreciation Days (RADs) - RADs are conducted by installation RSOs to keep Retired Soldiers and their Families informed of rights, benefits, and privileges and to foster goodwill between the retired and active duty communities. RADs are conducted at least annually by major Army installations in CONUS and by garrisons in overseas commands.
- Army Echoes - The Army Retirement Services office publishes the Army Echoes newsletter four times per year to keep Retired Soldiers and their Spouses in touch with the Army and inform them of their rights, benefits, and responsibilities. Army Echoes is sent electronically to all Retired Soldiers and SBP annuitants with an email address associated with their myPay accounts with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Only those without an email address in myPay will receive the hardcopy edition of Army Echoes. CLICK--->
- Installation Retiree Newsletters are published by each major Army installation specific to their geographic area at a minimum of once per year.
- Effective 15 May 2009 all Soldiers regardless of component upon retirement are entitled to receive the Army Retiring Soldier Commendation Program (ARSCP) Package. The package consists of the following:
- A personalized full-color letter signed by the Secretary of the Army, Chief of Staff of the Army, and Sergeant Major of the Army.
- Full-color box carrier
- U.S. Flag, measuring 3 feet by 5 feet, cotton, outdoor
- U.S. Army Retired Lapel Button
- One DA Label 180 (exterior) and one DA label 180-1 (interior), "Soldier For Life" window stickers.
- Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA)-RSOs assist the servicing legal assistance office in their area in counseling active and Retired Soldiers, Spouses and former Spouses on this legislation with regard to former Spouse SBP and division of retired pay.
One of the greatest benefits of a military career is that you move from place to place; however, in the course of the moves, things may get lost. This is why it is strongly recommended that you carry important papers with you during PCS moves. No matter how it happens, the loss of important papers will need to be replaced. The sooner you get the replacements, the less chance that you'll suffer stress at some future time when you urgently need that one piece of paper to get something important accomplished.
There are a number of documents that are important to retain safely because they are required to obtain benefits for the retiree, the retiree's dependents and for the survivors when the retiree dies. In addition, the retiree should have on hand additional notarized or certified copies of these documents so that, when the time comes to use them, there will be no delay in submitting the required documents along with certified copies of the supporting documents, whether for benefits or for other purposes. The originals can then be kept in a safe secure place for permanent retention.
The following documents are recommended to have on hand for retirees living in Korea:
- Birth certificate(s) or other acceptable documents depending upon the Country of birth.
- DD Form 214 (and DD Form 215 if corrections were made).
- Marriage certificate(s) and Divorce Decree(s) if applicable.
- Naturalization certificate(s), if applicable.
- Death certificate(s) of deceased Family members.
All documents must be either the original or a certified copy. Photocopies are not acceptable.
For more information about the services provided by the Army Retirement Services Program, please visit the websites below.
Department of the Army Soldier for Life Website:
Retirement Services Program Army Regulation 600-8-7:
National Archives Military Records Request information: