The Defense Department is continuing to roll out its education programs regarding the new Blended Retirement System (BRS) that takes effect Jan. 1, 2018. All current service members are grandfathered under the legacy retirement system, which for the most part provides roughly 50 percent (or High-3) of basic pay per month for life, once the 20-year minimum requisite is met. Current military can also continue contributing to their Thrift Savings Program (TSP) accounts, which has no government match. From Jan. 1 forward, all new enlistees will be auto-enrolled into BRS which, once the minimum 20-year requisite is met, reduces the vested amount to 40 percent of basic pay, but adds government contributions to TSP accounts of a free 1 percent of pay after the completion of 60 days of service, and a match of up to 4 percent at the beginning of year three of service. BRS also adds Continuation Pay, which is a one-time payment at the completion of 12 years to those who agree to serve an additional four years. Active-duty members would currently receive between 2.5 and 13 times their monthly basic pay, and DOD is developing policy to treat Reserve Component members on active duty similarly. Other Reserve Component members would receive between 0.5 and 6 times their basic pay (as if on active duty, not drill pay). A difficult choice is left for mid-career military –– those with less than 12 years of active service, or with less than 4,320 points in the Reserves. They will be given a one-time opportunity to opt-in the entire 2018 calendar year, which is why educating the force is so important. Learn more about the new Blended Retirement Systems.