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Blended retirement system opt in ends Dec. 31

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The ability to opt-in to the Blended Retirement System (BRS) ends Dec. 31, 2018. All service members who entered the military on or after Jan. 1, 2018, were automatically enrolled in the BRS.

All service members who joined the military on or before Dec. 31, 2017, were automatically placed in the legacy retirement system. For those who are eligible, the link to opt-in to the BRS will be available in myPay. For members of the Marine Corps the option will be on Marine Online.

“The Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act created a new military retirement system that blends the traditional legacy retirement pension with a defined contribution to service members’ Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account,” said Charlie Carr, 325th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant.

Carr said service members opting in to the new retirement system will begin receiving automatic and applicable matching government contributions effective the first pay period after the day the member opts into the BRS.

“For active duty, this means the following month unless the member opts in on the first day of the pay period, in which case the automatic and matching contributions begin with that pay period,” said Carr.

Service members can guarantee up to 5 percent of their contributions will be matched in their TSP, a program similar to a civilian 401k. 

Carr said the BRS offers government provided retirement benefits for nearly all service members who serve at least two years, however, the contributions made do not automatically guarantee members monthly retired pay through a defined benefit pension.

“To earn military retired pay, meaning a monthly pension, you still have to have 20 years of service, or 20 qualifying years of service if you are in the National Guard or reserve,” said Carr. “There are, of course, exceptions such as when a member is retired early due to a disability.”

For more information about both retirement plans, service members can visit https://militarypay.defense.gov/calculators/BRS/.

Carr said the site includes a special calculator designed to help service members decide if switching to the BRS is the right choice for them. Service members can also visit financial offices such as the Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) to speak with financial counselors about their retirement options.

Carr said the decision to switch to the BRS is irrevocable.

For answers to additional questions or concerns, call the A&FRC at 850-283-4204, or visit, before switching to the BRS.