The Navy SEALs receive a generous retirement just like any other military retirement plan from other branches of the military. As soon as a SEAL joins the Navy, they start to build toward their Navy SEAL retirement. The SEALs receive the same military benefits as other Navy personnel, but may notice a higher monthly disbursement amount because of their E-7 income level when they leave.
Who Is Eligible for Navy Retirement?
Any Navy SEAL who was honorably discharged is eligible for retirement benefits after 20 years of service, but many stay in for 30 years to increase their monthly income.
Average Base Pay for a Navy SEAL
The average annual base pay for a Navy SEAL is $54,000 a year. Navy jobs in Special Operations teams may be paid a higher salary at retirement because of their increased levels of specialized training, skills, and exclusive assignments. The annual pay prior to retirement determines a retiree's monthly income.
How Retirement Is Calculated
- 20 years of active duty: Navy SEALs are eligible for 50% of their average base salary.
- 30 years of active duty: SEALs can remain active for 30 years of service and receive a higher monthly benefit amount. Each year after retirement, the percentage is increased annually by 2.5%, resulting in 75% of their average base pay.
The retirement plan a SEAL is eligible for depends on their enlistment date and eligible years of service.
- Final Pay: SEALs eligible for final pay must have enlisted prior to 09/08/1980. Final pay is a method of computing the final basic pay of the SEAL by 2.5% for each year of service. Payments receive an annual COLA adjustment, but no additional bonus.
- High-36 Pay: Retirees who enlisted after 09/08/1980 and prior to 08/01/1986 are eligible for High-36 if they did not elect to have the Career Status Bonus or the REDUX retirement plan. The benefits are calculated by determining the average of 3 years of service base pay times 2.5%. This pay plan includes COLA adjustments annually, but no additional bonus.
- CSB/REDUX: Retirees are eligible if they enlisted on or after 08/01/1986 and decided to receive the Career Status Bonus. At 62, the retirees' retirement benefits are adjusted to match the High-36 plan, the multiplier is increased to match the 36 plan, and COLA continues at 1%. Retirees receive a $30,000 bonus at their 15th year of service with an agreement to serve for 20 years.
- Disability Pay: Disability pay is calculated different than active duty retirement. Disability is received when the Navy SEAL is medically determined unfit to continue service with a Department of Defense rating of 30%. The retirement plan is either a Final Pay plan or High-36. The benefit is calculated by using the 2.5% multiplier for each year of service, OR the percentage of disability. Retirees receive an annual COLA adjustment, but no readjustments in pay or additional bonuses are included.
The SEALs' retirement may be calculated the same as their fellow service members, but they retire after receiving an exclusive chance of a lifetime, serving alongside an elite team of heroes.