Should You Opt Into the New Blended Retirement System?

The Thrift Savings Plan has provided information to help military service members decide if they should move to the new Blended Retirement System.

The Fiscal Year 2016 Nation Defense Authorization Act authorized creation of a new retirement system for the military that is similar to the FERS system for federal employees.

The Blended Retirement System

Known as the Blended Retirement System (BRS), the new military retirement plan has a smaller pension but has added a defined contribution to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account. This new system will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Military personnel serving as of December 31, 2017, will be “grandfathered” under the current retirement plan. But, while no one currently-serving will be automatically switched to the new system, many will have a choice.

Active service members with fewer than 12 years since their Pay Entry Base Date, and some Reserve Component Service members will have an option to join the new retirement plan.

The opt-in period for the BRS begins January 1, 2018 and ends on December 31, 2018.

For more information about the new system, see New Military Retirement System Has Big Changes.

Information from the TSP

To assist military service members with the decision, the TSP has provided both a short informational video (above) along with a fact sheet (below) about BRS.

The fact sheet addresses common questions such as what will happen to one’s annuity under the new retirement system to how service contributions work.

Questions and Answers about Opting into the Blended Retirement System (BRS)

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.