31 December 2018 will be the last day, for those who are eligible*, to opt-in to the Blended Retirement System (BRS). Knowing your options, understanding implications for your future, effects on your current budget, weighing pros and cons of staying on the Legacy (HIGH-3) or opting into BRS, should play a role in your decision. This is an important personal decision.
There are tools and resources to help (list below), there is mandatory training (which if in the window of eligibility, hopefully you have taken) and there are people to help (financial counselors, your financial institution’s advisors and counselors).
Here are some tips if you are still working on the decision:
Double check your eligibility status
Especially if you have a mix of Guard/Reserve/Active time in service. This can make it a little less clear.
Complete the mandatory training
If you have not completed the training, and you are eligible, speak to the finance office at your unit/installation.
Your decision to opt-in to BRS it is irrevocable (you cannot switch back to Legacy)
Also remember, if you do nothing by 31 December 2018 you will remain on the Legacy plan. This means that if you leave before 20 years of service, you will receive no military retirement pay benefits.
Seek out the resources and guidance
Use financial professionals to help you make the right decision for you and your family or time (31 December) will make the decision for you.
*Service members with less than 12 years of Service (as of Dec. 31, 2017) or fewer than 4,320 retirement points (as of 31 Dec. 2017). View the Eligibility Fact Sheet
How to Opt In to the Blended Retirement System
- DFAS myPay (Army, Navy & Air Force)
- Marine Online (MOL) Marine Corps
- Direct Access (Coast Guard & NOAA Corps)