Retired Pay-Blended Retirement System

Army Reserve: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, Public Law 114-92, enacted on 25 November 2015, created a new retirement system for the Uniformed Services, referred to as the Blended Retirement System (BRS), which went into effect on 1 January 2018.  The BRS applies to all Service members who enter the Uniformed Services with a Date of Initial Entry into Military Service (DIEMS) of 1 January 2018 or later.  The BRS is a combination of a defined benefit plan, similar to predecessor plans that pay monthly retired pay, plus defined contributions and service matching to the Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

Implementation of 5% Automatic Enrollment Percentage for Thrift Savings Plan Participants

On October 1, 2020, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) will increase the automatic enrollment percentage from 3% to 5% of pay for all Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), and Blended Retirement System (BRS) participants who are automatically enrolled in the TSP on or after October 1, 2020, and for BRS participants automatically re-enrolled in the TSP on or after January 1, 2021, per 5 CFR § 1600.34 and 1600.37. The Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009 grants the FRTIB the authority for this change. This change will not affect the contribution rates in place for FERS and CSRS participants who were automatically enrolled in the TSP prior to October 1, 2020, or BRS participants who were automatically enrolled prior to October 1, 2020, and did not terminate their contributions.  Click here for more information.

Eligibility

Service members who enter the Uniformed Services on or after 1 January 2018 will be automatically enrolled in the Blended Retirement System.  Service members withparatroopers hooked to static line less than 12 years of active duty service, or fewer than 4,320 retirement points for reserve component members, as of 31 December 2017 were afforded the opportunity to opt-in to the Blended Retirement System throug 31 December 2018 or remain grandfathered in their current retired pay plan.  

Benefit Highlights

Blended Retirement System logo Under the Blended Retirement System, Army Reservist AGR Soldiers will receive monthly retired pay upon completion of 20 or more years of active federal service, plus the balance of their accumulated Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) accounts. For AGR Soldiers who do not have 20 years of active federal service but have 20 years of qualifying service, they will receive monthly retired pay at the age of eligibility (usually age 60, unless eligible for a reduced age retirement for qualifying periods of service), plus the balance of their accumulated Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) accounts.

Monthly Retired Pay: Monthly retired pay under the Blended Retirement System will be calculated by multiplying the years of credible service by 2%, times the average of the of a Reserve Soldier’s highest 36 months of active duty basic pay for each year of service beginning at the completion of 20 or more years of active federal service or at the age of eligibility (usually age 60 unless eligible for reduced age retirement). For non-regular retirement, the calculation for years of service is based upon accumulated retirement points (Retirement points ÷ 360 = Years of Service). At the time of retired pay eligibility, Service members may choose to receive their full monthly retired pay or request a reduced monthly retired pay along with a lump sum payment of 25 or 50 percent. The lump sum payment will be calculated based on the Present Value of their retired pay scheduled to be paid until their Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Social Security, usually age 67. Members choosing the lump sum option will receive reduced retired pay depending on the lump sum option elected. Lump sum calculations will consider anticipated cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) between date of retirement and FRA and will be based upon a personal discount rate to be determined by the Department of Defense (DoD). At FRA, retirees' monthly retired pay will increase to 100 percent of their full entitlement.

Thrift Savings Plan: DoD will automatically contribute an amount equal to 1% of a National Guardsman's basic pay or Inactive Duty Pay to the TSP beginning 60 days after they enter active service and continue through their 26th year of service. In addition, after a member's second full year of service, DoD will match members' voluntary contributions to their TSP accounts up to an additional 4 percent, bringing the total DoD automatic and matching contributions to 5 percent of basic pay. Service members are fully vested in (entitled to) their TSP accounts after the completion of 2 years of service. NOTE: Automatic contributions and service matching begins immediately for those who opted-in.

Continuation Pay: In addition to the enhancements described above, Service members enrsoldier trainingolled in the Blended Retirement System will be eligible for Continuation Pay (CP) upon their 12th year of service in return for a service commitment of 4 additional years. The amount payable for CY 19 under  guidance published by the Secretary of the Army, is 2.5 times the Service member's monthly basic pay for active component Service members, to include Active Guard Reserve (AGR) and Full Time Support (FTS). Traditional drilling members will be eligible for 4 times their monthly basic pay (calculated as if serving on active duty). Traditional drilling Army Reserve Soldiers are eligible for CP upon their 11th or 12th year of service. Continuation pay amounts are at the discretion of the Service Secretary.

Reentry into Active Service: Service members with less than 12 years of active duty service or 4,320 retirement points as of 31 December 2017 who have been released from active duty or active service prior to 1 January 2018 who return to active duty or active service after 31 December 2018 may opt-in to the new retirement system within 30 days after reentering service.

Service members who did not opt-in to the Blended Retirement System during 2018 will remain under the High-36 Retirement System. They may participate in the TSP, but they will not receive matching or automatic contributions from DoD.

West Point Cadets Opt-In: The Blended Retirement System enrollment period for newly commissioned officers has been extended from 30 days after first day performing actual duty to 90 days after receiving a Blended Retirement System opt-in eligible notification via official government email account.

Additional Information

Access the MyArmyBenefits calculator to calculate your retired pay under the Final Pay, High-36 and BRS Retired Pay Plans:
https://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Benefit-Calculators/Retirement 

Access the MyArmyBenefits Blended Retirement Calculator:
https://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Benefit-Calculators/BRS-Comparison-Calculator 

NOTE: The MyArmyBenefits calculator pulls the Soldier’s current data to provide the comparison of future retired pay outcomes under both the systems.

Education on the Blended Retirement System is available to all members of the Uniformed Services.

Leader Training to Introduce the Blended Retirement System (BRS) For the Uniformed Services (.5 hr)
https://jkodirect.jten.mil/Atlas2/page/coi/externalCourseAccess.jsf?v=1597693001325&course_prefix=J3O&course_number=P-US1330

Blended Retirement System (BRS) OPT-IN Course (2 hrs)
https://jkodirect.jten.mil/Atlas2/page/coi/externalCourseAccess.jsf?v=1597693048691&course_prefix=J3O&course_number=P-US1332

For more detailed information on retired pay, visit the nearest Army Retirement Services Office (RSO):
https://soldierforlife.army.mil/Retirement/contact-us 

Army Human Resources Command My Record Portal:
https://www.hrcapps.army.mil/portal/ 

Defense Finance and Accounting Service site:
https://www.dfas.mil/

DoD Blended Retirement Resources:
https://militarypay.defense.gov/BlendedRetirement/ 

Document Review Date: 25 November 2019