Army rules state a four-star general must serve three years before they can retain the rank in retirement. But the president can bypass the rule if he chooses to do so. McChrystal would have earned about $140,832 annually as a three-star retiree, meaning Obama’s decision nets him another $8,868 annually, according to military retirement figures compiled by the Pentagon.

As a retired general McChrystal will have access to military bases around the world and can access retail outlets, medical doctors and other services on base, according to the Pentagon. All retiring officers meet with Defense Department officials to review their retirement package, which normally includes access to the military’s TRICARE health care system, a group life insurance plan and survivor benefits.