The National Defense Authorization Act, signed December 2015, announced the creation of a new, blended retirement system (BRS). The new BRS will become effective Jan. 1, 2018 and is a stated initiative in Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft’s Human Capital Strategy.
While all Coast Guard members who join the service after Jan. 1, 2018, will fall under the new system, all members currently serving will be grandfathered into the current system. Those with less than 12 years of service will have the option to opt into the new BRS.
The most important thing for Coast Guard members to know now is the timeline for implementation of the BRS, and in which category they fall:
- Remaining under the current plan
- Grandfathered in the current plan with the option to switch to BRS
- Covered under BRS
The graph below will help members identify their category. Also, members who are eligible to opt into the BRS will be individually notified in November of 2016.
For all three categories, there are no decisions to be made now. The Implementation timeline below shows the time frame when those eligible must decide whether to opt in.
In order to ensure Coast Guard members are best informed to make this decision, the Coast Guard has worked with DoD in developing a series of training modules to provide every member with the information they need to make the best decision for their individual circumstances.
The trainings, available on the Department of Defense Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) learning environment, will become available over the next 18 to 24 months, and will consist of the following topic areas:
- Leader Training to Introduce the BRS for the Uniformed Services, course number J3OP-US1330: This training is available now and may be taken by all active-duty and reserve personnel. However, all military personnel in pay grades E-6 and above and civilian supervisory employees must complete this course prior to Dec. 31, 2016.
- BRS Personal Finance Counselors Training Course: The course’s tentative availability date is Oct. 1, 2016, and will be mandatory for personnel occupying financial counselor positions. Once this course is available, a mandatory course completion date will be announced to financial counselors.
- BRS Opt-In Training Course: The course’s tentative availability date is Jan. 1, 2017. This course will have a retirement calculator utility that will allow members to compare their own retirement benefits under the current retirement system and the BRS, to educate members with less than 12 years of service to make an informed decision to opt-in to the BRS, or remain under the current retirement system. This course will be available for all of calendar year 2017 to provide members ample time to take it before they will need to make an opt-in decision in calendar year 2018.
- BRS New Accessions Training Course: This will be available at officer and enlisted accession points after Jan. 1, 2018.
For additional information on the new BRS, please view ALCOAST 222/16 and view the Dept. of Defense introduction video. Additional questions may be directed to the Coast Guard Military BRS Integrated Project Team via email.
Click here to view a full PDF of the helpful infographic below: