Air Force Announces Bonus for Switching to New Blended Retirement System

The Air Force will offer some Airmen a cash bonus if they convert to the military’s new Blended Retirement System.

Force recently announced the opportunity for Airmen who are approaching 12 years of service to receive a cash bonus after switching over to the military’s new Blended Retirement System (BRS).

About the Continuation Pay

The incentive pay, known as continuation pay, is a one-time, direct cash payout done as a way to encourage Airmen covered by BRS to remain in the Air Force since it will be possible to leave with some retirement benefit prior to 20 years of service.

Active-duty Airmen who commit to an additional four years of service will receive the continuation pay at their 12-year mark. The rate is 2.5 times monthly basic pay. Reservists will receive 50% of their monthly basic pay pay.

About the BRS

The new retirement system goes into effect on January 1, 2018. It offers a smaller pension but has added a defined contribution to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account.

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 BRS.

The opt-in period for the BRS begins January 1, 2018 and ends on December 31, 2018. Those who enter the military on or after January 1, 2018 will be automatically enrolled in the BRS.

“Modernizing the current retirement system into the BRS will ensure that the vast majority of uniformed service members receive a portable government retirement benefit,” said Daniel Sitterly, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.  “It will help make the uniformed services more attractive to new generations of American citizens by providing a retirement annuity with options on how to shape their retirement benefit.”

For further details about the new Blended Retirement System, see New Military Retirement System Has Big Changes.

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.