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Training begins for DOD's new retirement system

Training is now underway for the Defense Department’s new modernized retirement system, which consists of a combination of the Thrift Savings Plan, an annuity provision, an incentive payment and continuation pay.

Training is now underway for the Defense Department’s new modernized retirement system, which consists of a combination of the Thrift Savings Plan, an annuity provision, an incentive payment and continuation pay.

Mandatory training for the "Blended Retirement System," began Jan. 30.

The new system is "one of the most significant changes to military pay and benefits that we've had over the past 70 years," Anthony Kurta, who is performing the duties of undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said.

Instead of needing a minimum 20 years of service to qualify for pension, BRS will automatically enroll new service members into the TSP with a matching contribution, and just two years of service is needed to be fully vested.

The “continuation pay” feature gives members a cash payment after 12 years of service if they choose to stay an additional four years. 

The annuity is a defined benefit or a monthly annuity, which is similar to the current 20-year retirement system now in place.

"The goal of modernizing the retirement system was to go from a system that benefits about 20 percent of all service members to one that benefits about 85 percent of all service members," Andrew Corso, the assistant director of military compensation policy and project lead for the implementation of the new system, said.

Current service members are grandfathered into the existing system, but those beginning service after Jan. 1, 2018 will be automatically enrolled in the new system.

Training is available on the common-access-card-enabled Joint Knowledge Online website, and through Military OneSource.

The new system goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

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