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Soldiers have a retirement system choice in 2018

The new Blended Retirement System (BRS) is available on 1 January 2018. Below are some common questions:

What is the new BRS?
The new BRS 'blends' features of the traditional legacy retirement pension with a defined contribution to Service members’ Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account. The Blended Retirement System has three distinct features:

  • Automatic and Matching TSP contribution. The DoD automatically contributes 1% of a Soldier’s basic pay to their TSP account after 60 days of service. Matching contributions occur starting at the third year of service through the 26th year of service. A Soldier is fully vested at the beginning of year 3.
  • Continuation Pay. This is a taxable bonus payable at the 12th year of service. For 2018, the bonus is set at 2.5 times monthly base pay for active duty Soldiers and .5 times monthly base pay for Reserve and National Guard Soldiers. This bonus incurs a 4 year service obligation.
  • Retired Pay. Under the BRS a Soldier’s retired pay is determined by a multiplication factor of 2.0% x years served x High-36 Average Base Pay. (Under the Legacy Retirement System, the multiplication factor is 2.5% x years served x High-36 Average Base Pay.)

A retiring Soldier also has the option to receive part of their retired pay as a lump sum, which is not available under the Legacy Retirement System. The Soldier may choose a lump sum of either 25% or 50% of the discounted present value of future retirement payments in exchange for reduced monthly retired pay until full Social Security retirement age. At retirement age, retired pay resumes to full value.

Soldiers can calculate and compare their retirement savings under the BRS and the legacy system at the MyArmyBenefits retirement calculator.

Who is eligible for the new BRS?

BRS eligibility depends on when you joined or plan to join the Uniformed Services. All Soldiers who enter the armed services for the first time on or after 1 January 2018 are automatically enrolled in the BRS. This includes cadets who enter a service academy or sign a service contract on or after 1 January 2018.

Active duty Soldiers with 12 or more years of service prior to 31 December 2017 are grandfathered under the Legacy Retirement System. They will remain under the Legacy Retirement System, with no changes to their retirement plan.

Active duty Soldiers with less than 12 years of service as of 31 December 2017 are grandfathered under the Legacy Retirement System but can choose to opt-in to the BRS. They must make an election to move into the BRS system during the opt-in period if they desire to do so.

Reserve Soldiers and National Guard Soldiers with less than 4,320 points, regardless of years of service, may also opt in to the BRS. Opting into the BRS does not change how retirement points are accrued or when the Soldier is eligible to retire.

Soldiers can calculate and compare their retirement savings under the BRS and the legacy system at the MyArmyBenefits retirement calculator.

What is the opt-in period? Where do I make my selection?

The opt-in period is 1 January 2018 - 31 December 2018. Soldiers will make their selection at MyPay at https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx. Note that once a selection is made it cannot be reversed.

Soldiers can calculate and compare their retirement savings under the BRS and the legacy system at the MyArmyBenefits retirement calculator.

How do I know what is best for me?

A fact sheet has been created for Soldiers to learn more about BRS and read about specific features of the program that differentiate it from the Legacy Retirement System. Find it here.

Soldiers can calculate and compare their retirement savings under the BRS and the legacy system at the MyArmyBenefits retirement calculator.

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11/07/2018

TRDP is Ending: What to Look for in a New Retiree Dental Plan

Falls Church, VA, November 7, 2018 - The TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) ends on Dec. 31, 2018. Beginning in 2019, new retiree dental coverage will be available through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). If you’re eligible to enroll in a FEDVIP dental plan, you must enroll in FEDVIP during the Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10, 2018. Your dental coverage will begin on Jan. 1, 2019. Now is the time to explore your new dental coverage options and make a choice.

10/04/2018

Compare 2019 FEDVIP Dental, Vision Plans Ahead of Open Season

Falls Church, VA, October 4, 2018 - In 2019, dental and vision insurance plans for retirees and their families will be available through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). If you’re eligible, the first opportunity to enroll in a plan is during the Federal Benefits Open Season. This will take place from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10. Prepare for Federal Benefits Open Season now by reviewing the 2019 FEDVIP plan options and rates. If you want FEDVIP dental coverage in 2019, you must make a plan choice and enroll during the Federal Benefits Open Season.

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