Deadline looms for eligible servicemembers to choose new retirement plan
WASHINGTON — Eligible servicemembers have just over a month to decide whether they want to opt into a new retirement system or remain in the legacy plan.
The Department of Defense’s Uniformed Services Blended Retirement System became available Jan. 1. The system combines automatic and matching contributions to a servicemember’s Thrift Savings Plan, continuation pay and monthly pay upon retirement, according to the Defense Department.
Those who joined the military on or before Dec. 31, 2017, are grandfathered in the legacy high-3 retirement system, which requires servicemembers to serve for 20 years before they are eligible for benefits.
Only 19 percent of active duty and 14 percent of Reserve serve for at least 20 years to qualify for the legacy retirement benefit, according to informational slides on the BRS website. Under the BRS, 85 percent of servicemembers will get retirement benefits after they serve at least two years.
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