Airmen eligible for the new Blended Retirement System began receiving email notifications Feb. 10 from myPers with information regarding their benefits so they can make the decision best suited for their individual needs.
The myPers notification includes details of the new retirement system, a link to mandatory training about the opt-in process and how to enroll in the BRS. While the one-year window in which to make a decision doesn't open until Jan. 1, 2018, all Airmen should take advantage of training and informational resources as they become available.
Only those active Airmen who, as of Dec. 31, 2017, have served fewer than 12 years, or Reserve Airmen who have accrued fewer than 4,320 retirement points, will have the option of electing BRS or remaining in the legacy retirement system. Airmen with greater years or points will be grandfathered under their legacy retirement plan.
The new BRS will ensure nearly 85 percent of military members leave the service with retirement savings, as opposed to just 19 percent today. It is one of the most wide-reaching and significant changes to military pay and benefits of the last 70 years. For the first time, service members will receive automatic and matching contributions from the Defense Department to their retirement and have control over their investments.
The opt-in course provides Airmen an understanding of both the current and new retirement systems so they can make a fully-informed decision, and includes component-specific scenarios as well as retirement comparison calculators to assist with decision making. Airmen can use knowledge gained from this course combined with their personal assessments of career goals and financial situations to decide which system is best for them.
After completing the mandatory opt-in course, eligible Airmen should provide a copy of the training certificate to their unit training manager. Prior to the opt-in window, Airmen are advised to contact their personal financial advisors for additional counseling and assistance. Counselors at the local Airman and Family Readiness Center can also assist with financial literacy training.
BRS information is continuously updated on myPers. Click "Retirement" from any military landing page. In addition, a live chat feature on BRS is available for Airmen. To chat live with a Total Force Service Center representative, go to the page and allow about 30 to 60 seconds to enable a representative to come online.
For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to myPers
. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following the instructions on the Air Force Retiree Services website