Under the military’s Blended Retirement System, about 85% of all active-duty and reserve service members will receive a retirement benefit, even if they don’t qualify for full retirement. That’s a big difference from the low numbers of service members today saving for retirement. Your future self will thank you if you begin saving even modestly today. Recent changes make it easier to save for your future. Learn how you can safeguard your financial future and understand the retirement system.
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If you have questions about saving for retirement, contact Military OneSource to speak with a financial counselor.
Am I eligible for the Blended Retirement System?
Service members who join after January 2018 are automatically enrolled into the Blended Retirement System. Other service members either elected to join the new blended retirement system or chose to retain the legacy retirement plan. If you previously chose to keep the legacy plan but now wish to switch to the blended retirement system, you are currently unable to do so.
How do I opt into the Blended Retirement System?
First, you have to complete the mandatory Blended Retirement System Opt-In Course via Joint Knowledge Online or your service’s learning management system before the opt-in option is available to you. If you have completed the Blended Retirement System Opt-In Course via Military OneSource, you must turn the completion certificate into your training manager before the opt-in option is available to you.
Then, to opt into the Blended Retirement System, you need to visit one of these designated resources, depending on your branch of service.
- Army, Air Force, Navy: MyPay
- Marine Corps: Marine Online, or MOL
- Coast Guard, NOAA Corps: Direct Access
- U.S. Public Health Corps: Contact your Compensation Branch
How long will the Defense Department match my contributions?
Once you are enrolled in the Blended Retirement System, the Defense Department will contribute 1% of your basic pay to your Thrift Savings Plan after 60 days of entering service and will begin to match your contributions (up to an additional 4% when you contribute at least 5%), at the start of your third year of service. Both the 1% contribution and matching contributions from the Defense Department continue through the end of your 26th year of service.
How does the Thrift Savings Plan figure into the system?
Blended retirement enrolls all service members joining after January 2018 into the Thrift Savings Plan, with automatic and matching Defense Department contributions. After completion of two years of service, you are vested and that money belongs to you. If you leave, it goes with you.
TOOLS & RESOURCES FOR HOW THE THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN FIGURES INTO THE SYSTEM
ARTICLES FOR HOW THE THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN FIGURES INTO THE SYSTEM
BENEFITS & SUPPORT SERVICES FOR HOW THE THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN FIGURES INTO THE SYSTEM
Resources, benefits, and support services for the blended retirement system
ARTICLES AND EXTERNAL RESOURCES
- Department of Defense Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Blended Retirement System
- Service Member’s Guide to the Blended Retirement System
- Active component infographic
- National Guard and Reserve infographic
- Blended Retirement System Videos
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Blended Retirement System
- How to Create a Financial Plan for Every Phase of Life
- 7 Steps Military Families Can Take to Save Money
- Blended Retirement System resource page
Related MilLife Guides