Don’t delay: BRS opt-in deadline just around the corner

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Harrison Withrow
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
The clock is ticking, and servicemembers have less than two months to opt-in to the Blended Retirement System before the Dec. 31 deadline.

Airmen who do not plan to serve a full 20 year military career, or are unsure if they will, are encouraged to consider BRS and what it can do for them personally and professionally.

Under the traditional legacy system, only Airmen who served 20 “good years” are eligible to receive and/or collect a Department of Defense retirement after the age of 60. The new Blended Retirement Program, however, offers a chance for Airmen who serve less than 20 years to still earn a retirement. The BRS, however, adjusts the years of service multiplier from 2.5 percent to 2.0 percent to calculate monthly retired pay.

Moreover, because the BRS system also includes the Thrift Savings Plan, which includes an automatic 1 percent and up to 4 percent matching contributions to a service member’s TSP account, Airmen must be actively aware of their contributions and the status of their finances.

Planning for your financial future is an important step to career readiness, said Stacey Pennington, Grissom’s Airman and Family Readiness director.

“For young Airmen, time can be on your side if you start planning for retirement now,” said Pennington. “Compound interest means that the sooner you get started, the more exponentially your money is going to grow,”

Airmen who are unsure of the best choice for them should take the time to look at all of the information available to them.

“There’s resources the DoD has provided to help servicemembers make the right choice for them,” said Pennington. “For members with spouses, I would recommend involving them in the decision too, and figure out the best way to be financially independent by the time you retire.”

For Airmen who have decided to opt-in, the time is now, she said.

“It’s as easy as going to,” said Pennington. “It’s the first option at the top and it’s just a few clicks and you’re done.”

Pennington recommended that Airmen visit for more information.

“They have all the information about BRS you could ever need,” she said. “I recommend the videos particularly, they’re short and easy to understand.”

For Airmen who wish to continue with the traditional retirement system, no action is needed.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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