By 2nd Lt. Christian Eberhardt, 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 06, 2018
The period of enrollment for the Blended Retirement System, a modernized plan that affords eligible members an alternative to the traditional fixed-rate pension plan, is more than halfway to a close.
Active duty members with fewer than 12 years of service, and National Guard and Reserve members with fewer than 4,320 retirement points as of Dec 31, 2017, can opt into the BRS by December 31, 2018, the official deadline. For this group of members enrollment is not mandatory. Instead, they can retain the traditional retirement plan.
Members who decide to enroll into the BRS will receive an automatic one percent contribution. This contribution is based on the member’s base pay and is paid by the DOD directly into their Thrift Savings Plan. Members can receive an additional DOD funded contribution, ranging from one to four percent, depending on the members own level of contribution into their TSP.
Soldiers, sailors and airmen who are eligible to voluntarily enroll in the new system are first required to complete mandatory training. Members can complete the virtual course, “Opting into the Blended Retirement System”, by visiting Joint Knowledge Online. Upon completion members are able to finalize the process through myPay.
“There’s a very detailed, methodical process in myPay,” said Air Force 2nd Lt. Daniel Long, financial operations deputy flight commander for the 502nd Comptroller Squadron. “So make sure that when you click on myPay and you opt in, you’re actually understanding you’re opting in.”
For Marines, the option to enroll is available through Marine Online, upon completion of BRS training that’s available through MarineNet.
Coast Guardsmen can elect the BRS through Direct Access after completing the online training through JKO.
Members entering military service on or after January 1, 2018 are automatically enrolled into the new retirement system. For these members, the one percent matching payment from the DOD begins after 60 days of service. Additionally, the DOD does not match contributions until after the member completes two years of service.
Members seeking assistance with the BRS, or who have questions regarding investments, can contact the Military and Family Readiness Center for support.
“They have counselors that are specifically trained with the BRS, they know everything about it and they can give financial advice,” said 2nd Lt. Brodie Wilson, financial operations deputy flight commander for the 502nd CPTS.
For more information on the BRS, contact your local Military and Family Readiness Center:
Fort Sam Houston MFRC, 210-221-2705.
Lackland MFRC, 210-671-3722.
Randolph MFRC, 210-652-5321.