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Opted into BRS? Don’t forget this important step

The Blended Retirement System combines servicemember’s traditional legacy retirement pension with distributions from the Thrift Savings Plan, creating a portable retirement option. The BRS will grandfather in servicemembers serving as of December 2017 under the legacy retirement system. No one currently serving will be automatically switched to the BRS, according the DoD’s Military Compensation website. (U.S. Air Force illustration/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)

The Blended Retirement System combines servicemember’s traditional legacy retirement pension with distributions from the Thrift Savings Plan, creating a portable retirement option. The BRS will grandfather in servicemembers serving as of December 2017 under the legacy retirement system. No one currently serving will be automatically switched to the BRS, according the DoD’s Military Compensation website. (U.S. Air Force illustration/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)

WASHINGTON -- A major benefit of the Blended Retirement System (BRS) is the free money you can now get from your service: Each time you contribute to your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) retirement account, your service will match it, up to 5 perecnt of your pay.

But your contributions are not automatic if you opted into BRS – they don’t happen unless you choose to make them. And if you skip that important step, you risk missing out on hundreds of dollars in matching this year alone.

Contributing at least 5 percent of your basic pay is the only way to get the full match available to you. (For example, five percent for an E-2 is about $90 per month.) Now that you’ve opted in, your service created a TSP account for you (if you didn’t already have one) and automatically contributes an amount equal to 1 percent of your basic pay to it. But the other 4 percent depends on you taking action.

Got five minutes? If you haven’t already, log into your payroll system to get the benefit you’ve earned: more free money just for contributing. You'll also need to decide whether to make Roth or traditional contributions, and our short video “Is Roth Right for Me?” explains the difference.

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines* (active duty and Ready Reserve): Use myPay to contribute to your TSP account.

Choose whatever amount you’re comfortable with, but contributing at least 5 percent of your basic pay is the only way to get the full match you've earned from your service.

1. Log into myPay. From the Main menu, select “Traditional TSP and Roth TSP.”

2. Next, you’ll see two columns: “Contributions from Traditional TSP” and “Contributions from Roth TSP.” You can choose either one or both.

3. Select the percentages you would like to save from your basic, special, incentive, and bonus pay.

4. Click the “Save” button at the bottom of the screen. If you need help, call myPay at 1-888-332-7411 and select option 5, then option 2.



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