It's Open Season for BRS

January 5, 2018

The start of the new year also initiated the official start date of the new Blended Retirement System (BRS) for all new entrants into military service and, even more importantly, the beginning of the one-time-only period for eligible currently serving personnel to make the decision to opt in to the new retirement system.

Active duty servicemembers with 12 or less years of active service and reserve-component personnel with less than 4,320 retirement points are eligible to opt in to the BRS or stay with the legacy retirement system. Those already serving who exceed those limits were grandfathered into the legacy system and do not have a choice.

The decision to opt in to the new system for those eligible is a big one; once made, it is irrevocable and therefore requires a serious look at career desires and promotion potential as well as a thorough investigation of the new system and its related pros and cons.

Full details on the new BRS are readily available from DoD and all of the services on their respective websites as well as Joint Knowledge Online and Military OneSource.

If a servicemember decides to stay in the legacy retirement system, for all services other than the Marine Corps, they do not have to take any action. Marines, however, are required by their service to formally register their decision on Marine Online.

If an eligible servicemember decides to opt in to the new system, they are required first to complete a mandatory training course available on Knowledge Online or through Military OneSource. Military OneSource allows spouses to complete the training as well.

Again, 2018 is the only available window to make this all-important, one-time decision - so do your homework.


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