Blended military retirement system to take effect Jan. 1
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Blended military retirement system takes effect
Jan. 1
WASHINGTON -- One of the most wide-reaching and significant
changes to military pay and benefits over the last 70 years goes into
effect Jan. 1 with the implementation of the Uniformed Services
Blended Retirement System, known as BRS.

The new system blends aspects of the traditional defined benefit
retirement pension system, with a defined contribution system of
automatic and matching government contributions through the Thrift
Savings Plan.

All new entrants into the uniformed services on or after Jan. 1 will be
enrolled in this new retirement system, Pentagon officials said. The
uniformed services are the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast
Guard, Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps.

SOME CAN CHOSE BETWEEN SYSTEMS

Nearly 1.6 million current service members will have the option to
remain in the current legacy "high-3" retirement system or to choose
the BRS when the opt-in period for eligible service members opens
Jan. 1. Opt-in eligible service members from all seven of the uniformed
services will have an entire year to make their retirement system
election. The open period for the majority of service members is from
Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018.

Service members will need to visit one of these designated resources
to opt into BRS:

-- Army, Air Force, Navy: MyPay (https://mypay.dfas.mil).

-- Marine Corps: Marine Online (https://www.mol.usmc.mil).

-- Coast Guard, NOAA Commissioned Corps: Direct Access
(https://portal.direct-access.us).

-- U.S. Public Health Service personnel should contact the USPHS
Compensation Branch.

Service members who believe they are eligible to opt in, but do not see
the opt-in option available online should contact their local
personnel/human resources office to verify eligibility, officials said.

DECISION IRREVOCABLE

The decision to opt in is irrevocable, officials emphasized, even if a
service member changes his or her mind before the Dec. 31, 2018,
deadline. Eligible service members who take no action will remain in
the legacy retirement system, they added.

Prior to opting in, officials recommend that service members take
advantage of all available resources to assist in making an informed
decision on the financial implications specific to their retirement
situation. The Defense Department endorses several training and
informational tools to support a service member's decision, including
the BRS Opt-In Course, the BRS Comparison Calculator and numerous
online BRS resource materials. Service members can receive no-cost,
personal support from an accredited personal financial manager or
counselor available at their installation's military and family support
center or by calling Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647.

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