Military members who serve their country as part of the National Guard or a branch’s reserve component may qualify for retirement benefits – including a Blended Retirement System pension and Thrift Savings Plan retirement payments. You can estimate what your potential retirement payments may be with the official BRS military pay calculator.
How to fill out each section of the BRS calculator
A few quick notes for using this calculator as a member of the National Guard or reserves:
- You may need to estimate information about your future service career while you’re filling out the information for the BRS calculator, and you may not know the exact answers. That’s okay – the calculator automatically puts in answers based on the experiences of other service members in your situation. And, you can change your responses at any time.
- You’ll need to know how many “retirement points” you have earned and days served on active duty. See “Reserve component BRS calculator step two” for more information on these topics.
- If you use a computer or tablet, move your cursor over underlined phrases. A small window appears with a definition. This feature is not available if you’re using a smartphone.
Understanding your projected military retirement income
Once you input your information, you’ll see what the BRS retirement calculator estimates for your future retirement benefits. The information will be presented in four tabs, each with different information. Each of these sections will display total payments for the year, so divide by 12 for your estimated future monthly payments.
You can also choose to have the data show in “today’s” dollars or “future” amounts. Today’s dollars reflect what your benefits would be worth if they were paid out today. Future amounts try to show you the actual dollar amount you’ll likely receive when they’re paid out.
If you run through this calculator and discover that you don’t qualify for a pension, or your TSP payments seem low, don’t panic. Instead, double-check your numbers – it may be a user error. You can also play with the inputs to see if you need to stick around longer to rack up the total 20 years of qualifying service to retire. Check out these calculators if you’re in the legacy retirement system or if you’re an active-duty member in BRS.
If you’d like to talk to someone who knows a ton about how to save for the future while still living in the here-and-now, Military OneSource offers free financial counseling for all active-duty members of the National Guard and reserves. They can review the estimates provided by the calculator and tell you how to get the most out of your retirement benefits.