BRS Retirement System

The Fiscal Year 2016 Nation 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 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

The training will provide an overview of the TSP’s role in the Blended Retirement System, TSP contribution rules under the BRS, BRS opt-in eligibility, traditional vs Roth contributions, DoD contributions, auto-enrolment and auto-reenrollment, TSP lifecycle funds, and using the TSP financial calculators to project potential growth of TSP savings

The Blended Retirement System allows members to earn government retirement benefits early in their career, noting members can take those benefits with them even if they don’t end up retiring from the military. “The goal of modernizing the retirement system was to go from a system that benefits about 20 percent of all service members to one that benefits about 85 percent of all service members,” Service members are encouraged to go over their options carefully before making decisions on their retirement.

Military personnel are encouraged to visit with a local personal financial counselor or personal financial manager at their installation or a financial counselor. “It’s a very personalized and individual decision,”

The opt-in BRS course is available with a common access card through Joint Knowledge Online or through a service’s learning management system. Military OneSource offers the course without a CAC.

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