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The Blended Retirement System

Beginning in 2018, Uniformed Services will implement a new retirement plan. This new retirement system blends together the defined benefits of the legacy retirement along with matching contributions to Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and a mid-career continuation pay bonus. This Blended Retirement System (BRS) will not only continue to award those who are vested at 20 years but will allow service members who choose to depart early to leave with some retirement savings and start on the path to a financially successful future.

Policy Highlights

  • The Fiscal Year 2016 Nation Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) created a new military retirement system that blends the traditional legacy retirement pension with a defined contribution to Service members' TSP account. The new Blended Retirement System goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
  • All members serving as of December 31, 2017, are grandfathered under the legacy retirement system. No one currently-serving will be automatically switched to the Blended Retirement System.
  • Though they are grandfathered under the legacy retirement system, Active Component Service members with fewer than 12 years since their Pay Entry Base Date, and Reserve Component Service members who have accrued fewer than 4,320 retirement points as of December 31, 2017, will have the option to opt into the Blended Retirement System. The opt-in/election period for the Blended Retirement System begins January 1, 2018, and concludes on December 31, 2018.
  • All Service members who enter the military on or after January 1, 2018, will automatically be enrolled in BRS.

About BRS

The NDAA of 2016 and amended by the NDAA of 2017, created a new retirement system for all seven Uniformed Services titled the Blended Retirement System (BRS). BRS takes from the old defined benefit (DB) retirement and introduces TSP contributions and a mid-career continuation pay (CP). In BRS, the DB is reduced from a 2.5% multiplier to a 2.0% multiplier, vesting at 20 years of service. The reduction in the DB retirement is offset by services contributing up to 5% matching in a members TSP account as well as paying out CP. CP is a one-time, mid-career bonus in exchange for obligated service.

Each service has the discretion to establish the amount of CP, years of service eligibility and length of obligated service within the parameters dictated by the NDAA. Services are authorized to adjust these values to assist with retention and attrition as needed.

NOAA Corps, along with the other Uniformed Services, has elected to use a 2.5 times multiplier for the CP at 12 years with a service agreement of an additional 4 years.

Between January 1 and December 31, 2018, officers with less than 12 years of service as of December 31, 2017, will have the option to opt-in to the new, Uniformed Services BRS.

Upcoming Webinars

TSP and BRS; December 5, 2017, 1pm- 2pm ET

TSP Investment Funds and Managing Your Account; December 9, 2017; 1pm-2pm ET