Air Force leaders recently announced the Air Force’s continuation pay rates which are part of the new Blended Retirement System, or BRS.
Continuation pay is a way to encourage Airmen covered by BRS to remain in the Air Force since it will be possible to leave with some retirement benefit prior to 20 years of service.
The system is a blend of a 20-year retirement and contribution plan that allows service members to contribute to a Thrift Savings Plan account that is transferable after separation from the military.
“Continuation pay is a one-time direct cash payout, like a retention bonus,” said Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, deputy chief of staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services. “Members will receive continuation pay at 12 years of service in return for a commitment of four years of service.”
For active duty Airmen the payment rate is 2.5, times monthly basic pay. For the Reserve component Airmen to include Guard and Reserve, the payment rate is 0.5 times monthly basic pay, as if on active duty. For Reserve component Airmen on active Guard and Reserve orders, the payment rate is 2.5 times monthly basic pay. The rates and parameters for paying continuation pay will remain in effect until changed.
“Modernizing the current retirement system into the BRS will ensure that the vast majority of uniformed service members receive a portable government retirement benefit,” said Daniel Sitterly, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. “It will help make the uniformed services more attractive to new generations of American citizens by providing a retirement annuity with options on how to shape their retirement benefit.”
The BRS was enacted into law in the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.
All currently serving members are grandfathered into the current military retirement system. However, those with fewer than 12 years of service as of Dec. 31, 2017, or Air Force Reserve component members with fewer than 4,320 retirement points may choose to “opt in” to the BRS during the designated opt-in period from Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018.
For more information about the BRS, visit MyPers at https://mypers.af.mil/app/answers/detail/a_id/32564 (CAC required).